Thinking back on the poem of two days ago, the one I was so uninvested in, I no longer feel shame. Some days are longer than others. Today, for instance. It is a late night after a long, pesty day. It is father’s day, so I’m going to poem a super fast poem about my awesome dad, and because he is so awesome, it will be easy, and fast. I don’t feel like its cheating.
Many a Mile to Go
Start with the lullaby that brought the giggles, that you strummed at bedtime: The fox went out on a chilly night, and bayed to the moon to give him light, he had many a mile to go that night before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o, many a mile to go that night before he reached the town-o. I can hear it in my memory, like it was new and I was five, I can hear your voice exactly, I remember yo’ ho ho and a bottle of rum, and Doc Watson thralling through the downed windows of the green Toyota Tercel, a ship of solid steel, these pictures in my mind smell like the snake grass at Trout Mouth. Each one a still, comprised of many evenings folded into one. Trout Mouth is how my nine smells, my five, my two. And even the odd dream-memories, the ones I can’t place, must all come from place I was, several times, each new experience pressed and dressed into one long evening of the long-haired hippy parents around the fire at Chick’s cabin. Did that happen? These things must’ve happened. The chimney fire at the trailer, the Oregon Lake Monster, long chatter on the rides to ballet, these things happened and you were there. The look on your face when your sister died. That look never went far away. The look on your face when you noticed my first tatoo. I didn’t realize then, but I do know, how it must’ve felt to see those lines inked on the surface you helped weave. How each cell that belongs to me somehow also belongs to you, and vice versa. It is a deep wisdom, teaching the story, and, I suspect, the reason that I make so little money doing the same, but the wisdom is worth it. The look on your face when you held your first granddaughter, actually, you didn’t look at her at all at the very first. You looked at me. I’m pretty sure you knew all along that the first boyfriend wasn’t for me. I’m pretty sure you knew all along that I’d follow in your footsteps. I’m a hundred percent sure that you and I are eerily similar and I know for a fact that we have the same nose. It is that nose that made all your disguises fail, Santa, Sherlock Holmes, it was the nose that gave you away. Do you remember the hamsters and newts? Do you remember the time you drove me back to grandma’s because I didn’t want to go with my cousin to some redneck party? Do you remember what you told me in the car? Do you remember when I drove too fast down Cedar Creek and blew out the tire of whatever car I was driving? This isn’t a lullaby of what I remember, it is an offering. I give mine to you, and you give me yours. We’ve many a mile to go, old man.
Hah hah. Dad’s gonna be mad that I called him “Old Man”, but, I have to say that was the fastest I’ve poemed yet. Happy Sunday, poemies.