Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mud Puddle

What took you
Long, she asked,
To come home
From school

It was the
Mud puddle
My brother said
He had to walk
Around a
Mud puddle

He got in trouble
Because he forgot
To say the mud puddle
Was large and fascinating

He forgot to say
He stopped to throw rocks
In it, steer small
Wooden ships across it
And wage imaginary wars

The mud puddle was
Intriguing and complex
And time ran away
From him

He got in trouble
Because he didn’t
Explain the nuance.

Life is a lot
Like a mud puddle.


Time passes
After the death
Numbness abates
Exhaustion is replaced with
A bounce in your step

Life, once exquisite
And vivid and as rich
As life can be

Drifts once again
Toward the banal

Then a wave hits
An emotional tsunami
Out of nowhere
A wave

A wave of recollection
And grief and pain and loss
Powerful for just a moment
Then passing away

I miss you Dad.

Snow Angel

One of my early
Memories of snow
Was making snow angels
And playing fox and hen
In the snow with my Dad
Along side the highway on the
Way to Snoqualmie Pass

Yesterday I visited his
Grave and uncovered the
Snow from the wreath my
Mom had my brother lay
At the place of the headstone

I laid the wreath against
The plastic yellow sunflowers
I purchased at Albertson’s
Grocery store

And then, I lay on the
Ground above his grave
And made a snow angel

Skunk Cabbage

I was five or six
The small creek
Behind the school
Held a patch of
Skunk cabbage

I would pick some
And chase the girls
Especially the girl
I liked best that day

The girls squealed
And ran away

Somehow I knew
They secretly liked
The attention

Although many years
Have passed and
I haven’t seen or held
Any since my youth

I still chase girls with
Skunk cabbage

No hands

It was three miles
or more from Mike's
house all the way
into town.

Riding with arms
straight out for balance
and pedaling strong
and steady.

I was eleven and
never felt more free
and alive than that
particular day.

I remember it still
and sometimes talk about it;
about the time I rode
all the way from Mike's
house into town
with no hands.


It was beautiful
Dark brown
And rose
With a high polish

The name across
The granite jumped out

There is a moment
Of shock when
You see your name

It was Memorial Day
And Dad’s headstone
Had just been installed

“I like the font,”
My daughter said.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pheasant Hunting

At 10 I bought
A shotgun with
My own money.

It was a 12 gauge
Remington Model 87
Wingmaster purchased
For 83 dollars from
Willy Strange’s sporting goods
Store on Pine Street
In Ellensburg

I carried it
Empty for the
First year so my
Dad could be sure
That I knew how
To handle a gun

The first opening
Day of the next season
My Dad and I went
Out with Britt
Our Brittany Spaniel

When our dog went on
Point Dad said the first
Bird was mine

Britt flushed the bird
And Dad said, “Shoot!”

Overcome with
Buck fever I firmly
Held my gun and
Shouted, “Shoot! Shoot!”

Years later Dad
And I went out on a
Cold Christmas Day with
Our Brittany

On that fine day
It was three for three

And I came home
Triumphant with
Ringneck roosters
Dangling at my side.