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

  • June English Corner

    Here’s a tip to help improve your reading comprehension. When reading an article or chapter in a book, first read the first and last paragraphs. Then go to each of the subsequent paragraphs and just read the first sentence. Then skim or read quickly through the entire article. This will help you to get ahold of the main ideas and thereby greatly improve your comprehension. Understand the main idea; when reading, it is not necessary to understand all of the new vocabulary words. When many internationals read, they translate every word they don’t understand in a passage. This is known as the Grammar/Translation method and it’s an ineffective way of learning which takes far too much time. Try out the reading method I’ve just described, and I’ll see you next time at the English Corner.  © Mark Peter, M.A. Used with permission.


    Mr. Peter was my colleague at the Agape English Language Institute of Limestone College (Columbia, SC). After teaching ESL to recent immigrants and long-term visitors in the SC Public School System for several years, he returned to China (teaching English in Ningxia). Mark is currently teaching back in the US.
  • Jun 20

    “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.”
    –Walt Disney (1901 – 1966; creator of Mickey Mouse, and the Disney entertainment industry)


    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 websites for quotations is: www.brainyquote.com/     44

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