memories, mine and his





my dad collects memories,

a rock from a climb,

a toy car from his childhood,

a brass compass, a model of a ship,

he keeps these on his desk.

sometimes he exchanges one rock

for another, or the compass

may disappear and a tool 

of unknown purpose may appear.

these things mean something to him,

he is sentimental, he wears

his heart on his sleeve, and these,

i know, are bits of happiness.

he's had plenty of the other.

of all, there is one that never leaves,

is never exchanged, and i wonder about it.

it's a little wind-up duck, plastic

and small and silly. it waddles

when it is wound, waddles across

the desk in a silly, ducky way. 

i could ask him about it, but then

i'd know. i'd rather guess, and imagine.




it's funny how his memories

come at odd times, out of nowhere

he talks about mom's water

breaking around one in the morning,

driving the many miles

to the hospital, the first cool night

of autumn, the stars bright, 

how happy they were, their first,

and she felt good, the contractions mild,

and they were both optimistic,

it seemed like a lark. it wasn't,

it was kind of a mess, but i came out

and they said i looked wise,

and looked in their eyes, and he was young,

a young father, and his silliness

and his seriousness, and his worry,

and love lay ahead of him.




his first year of college was good

and bad. he had to stop-out, 

take a year off to get his head together.

he'd lost himself in the transition

of leaving his kidhood at home,

and adjusting to the world 

of sex, drugs, and psychedelic music.

he lost his way, so he stopped-out

and worked, discovering

he liked work, and he straightened

himself out. he lived in a little rented house

on the top of a high hill, within sight

of no other house, and in his loneliness

he learned life lessons, this he's

told me, but he had help. his mother,

my gram, suggested he get a dog,

for the company, for the responsibility.

thus govinda came into his life,

a beautiful, long-haired german shepherd,

smart—that dog understood 

his every thought or gesture. this i know,

like everything i know about 

my dad from his own words, and mom's.




he was eighteen. met mom

when he went back to school. he was

dating, i.e. living the seventies,

with another, but he and mom fell hard.

in the process they each hurt

someone, and still talk of it, the pain

they caused. they studied art.

they lived in a little house 

in the country, the three of them,

mom, dad, govinda. and chickens,

and goats, the house on a bluff

above a river, and it rained alot they say.

mom was a waitress, he was 

finishing school after taking his year off,

and he worked pumping gas

and changing water pumps and tires

at steele's chevron, and wrote poems,

i come by it naturally, organically.




they married in the city courthouse,

by a judge, with prisoners

in orange jumpsuits and chains

in the ante-room. they honeymooned

at a holiday inn, and went back

to work the next day. he never stopped working.

never has. she popped me out, 

and my brother, eleven years later.

on his desk he keep memories. a little 

plastic duck, a silly little thing

that waddles when it's wound up.

i think it was mine when i was very little.

i'm sure of it. it's coming back.












Poetry by one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 612 times
Written on 2015-08-19 at 15:47

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Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
What a wonderful story of your dad's life. I like to keep things as well. Sometimes silly things but they mean something to me. I like to think that somewhere in their molecules the memory of things is retained. I enjoyed reading this :)

Arunesh dixit
Thank you for sharing such a picturesque poem. While reading I could feel all the events in front of me running like a movie. Great piece of creativity.

Arunesh Dixit

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is nice. Despite the clues, indications, even testimony, so much must be surmised.

What beautiful memories you have of your parents and how sweet of them to share them with you. I love the idea of the saved treasures, each with its own meaning of a moment in life.
You are very lucky! *

ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
As I said - that is what I meant. As are the brick's are laid - laya by laier - what will be is being built - created - then that is true craitan - crerited by humans - genaratian unto generation .
Ken D