I have not written many poems like this one. (Most of my poetry ends up as songs!) This exception was inspired by a “memory flash” triggered on a bus in Beijing, when I was teaching English there in 1987. My dad and I didn’t become “close knit” until after I was away from home at college. I guess I finally grew up enough to realize what treasures God had given me for parents. (I’ve long appreciated this quote from Mark Twain: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.”)
I am posting this poem here for several reasons: first, in honor of my dad’s 67th birthday; second, as an example of poetry for my students; and third, to remind myself that “making memories” with my own son is important!
- Moved by a peanut still in its shell
- to a day
- a dad
- Thirty thousand miles and fifteen years back in time.
- “How do they get these things salty without opening them?”
- I can’t recall his answer.
- The sound of the shell splitting
- the crack of the bat
- the roar of the crowd
- the fragrance of the freshly roasted nuts
- forever a favorite
- of a father
- taking time
- to make a memory.
- Close knit? not really
- making such memories even more memorable.
- He was often too busy
- I too often disinterested
- –being different from my dad.
- As time and travel take their toll
- which childhood treasures
- continue to touch and temper my life?
- Not the tons of toys
- closets of clothes
- multitude of meals
- abundance of advice
- so much as the days, the hours,
- simply shared
- loving life
- sharing sunshine,
- and sometimes
- a pound of peanuts.
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