I may have, maybe not, mentioned when meeting a man in Boston, Hal Sirowitz, he reminded me of my dad, my dad's illness- Parkinson's. I realized afterward, when arriving at the apartment exhausted from the bustling all day, I had never grieved for my parents. They died soon after Anelisa did, and I miss them. I don't miss the bull-honky that went with their habitual fighting, a result from his snarky and mean comments toward my mother, maybe because he stopped drinking and smoking all the years before.
So, I have been trying to mourn. Remember them, and honor them. The one problem I have is, as usual the daughter remembers her father in a more complimentary light. My mother was riddled with her own problems, and I guess not wanting to remember her in such a depressed state, as she was always in, I write more about Daddy.
I also found out today, a very good family friend is dying from ovarian cancer, she already battles an immune disease, and it will be a great loss to my husbands step mom, as it is her best friend.
I am taking a poetry class, and part of that class we have to read so many poems a day, analyze them, and then writer our own version or inspired versions of poetry. Send them to the teacher and work shop them as a class. So here is something I wrote today...
On The Water’s Edge
Wriggling in the boat’s front seat
more than the container of bait worms
sitting in the hot sun in fake earth
or on the hook as my fingers guide.
We head into a group of bare trees;
jumping daddy long leg spiders run
in opposite directions, away from us.
Bending down into the floor I escape
the freakish encounter.
The boat still rocks back and forth
daddy is already anxious for a cigarette
to clean off the trout lines
his voice cracks telling me to sit still.
He took me over the other siblings,
I know this because he often bragged
about how quiet and like him his
second born is, and does so in whispers
so the others don’t hear.
Uncles tell me how I favor his mother
someone he misses greatly, and often
we swing by her house
for a surprise visit.
Looking over the boats edge,
my chin lodged over the side
near the clear fresh water, observing
big fish going after bugs, and smaller fish
I wish to follow them into the
cool depths— imagining
they speak in soft tones,
letting out bubble responses,
flipping at a moment’s notice,
turning, toward other rewards.
‘The Incredible Mr. Limpet’
swims by losing his derby
and in that Don Knott voice in my head
squeals out a funny joke toward me.
I laugh out loud, risking wrath.
My father has already started the engine
with a smile, because many fish
gave up life with little fight today
and he has bigger things to fry.
The Bigger Catch Got Away
I long to feel that water’s edge
to see my father look from the shadows
into the sunlight, and recognize me.
His yellowing undershirt pops up
inches above his blue work shirts
embroidered with his middle name Glen.
On the birth certificate it is spelled
with two n’s, but he always thought
that was the Scottish version of
the female persuasion.
Something he likes best, over
fishing, beer, and a good barbeque
Standing over the grill on Sunday’s
you can smell a mix of flesh cooking;
either hamburgers, hot dogs, cheap steaks,
and often fresh fish he caught
the day before.
He’s there dressed in his Bermuda shorts
flexing his red neck tanned arms at
the female guests waiting and giggling
behind the mirrored patio door.
Smoke rises from the neighbor’s patio
as I float in my adult home swimming pool
next door, drowsy, but waking from a quick nap.
I feel the burn from the suns hot rays
on my shoulders, my straps pulled down
like when I was a teenage girl
trying to slip out of the house
in my hand-me-down bikini
with the padded bra.
Daddy caught me on the patio just
as the dogs began fighting next to me
and warned me not to wear it in public.
Closing my eyes again, my father quickly lets go
of anger; smiling back at me as he drifts off
in the green flat bottom boat. It is growing dark,
and he is alone on the old lake.
I swim out to him, pulling on the side, I can
almost feel small fish nibble on my toes,
bull frogs are peeping up from the rocks, I shriek
and can swear he says ‘there will be other days’.
I also have a new poem up over at Elizabeth Akin Stelling, and this poem may or may not be removed, if it is published it will be in my own book, one to be published this year. - E