Poem: Reminiscence

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!

Reminiscence

  • Connections…
  • 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
  •      signals
  •           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,
  •                smiles,
  •                and sometimes
  •           a pound of peanuts.
Michael Krigline, April 9, 1987 (Beijing)
 

©1987 Michael Krigline. See our Website Standards and Use Policy.

Monthly English Corner & Weekly Quote

  • July English Corner

    Welcome back to the English corner and this time I’ll give you some tips on how to improve your speaking. Many internationals are so concerned with making mistakes in their spoken English that they are very reluctant to practice speaking. A better objective is to focus on fluency rather than accuracy. That is to say, just speak regardless of whether or not you make mistakes. I know it’s difficult, because I went through the same experience when I learned Chinese in Shanghai. Practice as much as possible. Take advantage of English Corners, conversation partners, etc., and take classes that are specifically designed to help improve conversational skills. This month, try to overcome your fear of speaking, and don’t forget to check out next month’s EFLsuccess.com English Corner.  © Mark Peter, M.A. Used with permission.


    Mr. Peter was Michael’s colleague at the Agape English Language Institute of Limestone College (Columbia, SC). Throughout his career, Mark has taught English at many schools and universities, in the US and in China.
  • Jul 18

    “Contentment consists not in adding more fuel but in taking away some fire; not in multiplying wealth, but in subtracting men’s desires.”
    –Thomas Fuller (1608-1661; American inventor)


    Note: A quote’s original source is not always known, and authenticity has not been verified. To find out about an author, type the name into a search engine (like Google or Baidu). One of my favorite quotations websites is: www.quotationspage.com. 48

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