I must have been four going
On five, a little wheat seed still
Sprouting in a sun-drenched
Red like the Four O’ Clocks out the
Side of our house on Evans Street.
You were trying to teach me
How to tie my shoes and I was
Lost in the tangle of strings. I started
Crying which made things worse,
Your patience curt as annoyance.
You finally huffed out the door
Driving mom to the grocery
Store leaving me there alone
With alligator tears mixed with,
“Dad, I can do it! I can do it!”
And I did.
But you were already gone.
Joslin Lake is an outlier, its secluded
Silence from another time canopied
In a treasure of fire that rang
From the carillons of temerity –
We fished that lake every summer.
The three of us trolling for small
And large-mouth bass, a game of
Worm harnesses and lead sinkers as
I watched the tree line catch wind of
The clouds beyond a ceiling of rations.
Your antipodean stare at the
Surface of the water left me just as
Reflective yet breathless and alone.
Taught me patience married to
Anticipation a skill I keep trying to
Perfect on my way
To that corn husk gold horizon.
We came to Stone Village Theater,
All my friends and I in Senior Year
Had front row seats on the edge of a
Thrust stage. Could smell the cologne
Of stage makeup we were so close to you.
With no proscenium we were part of the
Action in the midst of a comedy no play
Could embrace you better. My friends were
Awestruck at your delivery embodied by their
Genuine belly laughs as all of us were in tears.
To your stage left we sat there smiling as you
Played your part so well and none of us
Left without you signing their playbills – as I
Remembered you, just for a second, breaking that
Fourth wall to give me a split second of a nod
That you loved what you were doing –
And that you loved me as well.
© K. James Ribble