Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Taking Away The Mountain \ Where I Fished With My Father

Alan:  Another poem for my brother Don.  For a long time, I couldn’t believe he was really gone, or how, or why. 

Taking Away The Mountain

I looked up this morning, and saw that they
had taken away the mountain.
“They” being just an expression: some conspiracy –
persons or forces unknown.
It happened in the night without tumult or dust,
bulldozers, prior notification:

this mountain, there in the long dark range,
backing my days, hardly noticed
over the shoulder, one horizon or another.
Now its absence a rebuke: a gap
visited over and over by the tongue.

Mountain, I looked up and saw that you were gone,
and the place where you were filled me with sadness.
I looked again: all the mountains clouds, it seems,
or even stranger beings – less substantial – all along.

Nancy:  The unplanned shaping of a life.  A time machine as simple as a footprint on a muddy bank, the smell of woodsmoke mixed with mist rising from water.

Where I Fished With My Father

From the banks of the slow streams
           poles buckets walk low chatter
           above my head
           long legs short legs catch up
           my pole my bobber my fish
           everyone laughing
           little girl little fish
           pat it pat it put it back

and cold ponds
           tall quiet man and gangly girl
           opening his childhood
           passing on mists and names
           receiving dawns and silences
           learning kindling
           the ways of a fire
           the taste of fish

and by the Tawasentha
           I’m showing you this
           you can always come here
           you can come alone
           you’re a big girl now
           leave us a note
           just say gone fishing by the creek

And when I flew home
           back to my own family
           with his tackle box
           his rod case
           his ashes
           there were many waters still
           where it was quiet
           or misty
           and I fished with my father.

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