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)
 

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