Monday, February 6, 2012

For my Father

I spent all night thinking about the morning
Sifting through memories like the sands of time
Like I really believed in Happily Ever Afters
Like I really wasn’t all alone at the end of the night
Like I was built of nothing but Pride, Stout, & Courage
But when the dim Sun came up on that broken morning
&
As we all stood around, tears freezing in the wind as the snow came down
Preacher said some words like he could've been your son
Then they lowered you into that cold hard ground
The last thing I remembered was I somehow saw you smiling
Laughing right through that coffin
So I turned all that sorrow into a black crow
&
Set it free at the base of pine tree
Once upon a time
They used to say that he was a coward
But when the cancer came
He showed us all that he was a warrior
Twenty years ago & so many stories
I still remember the smell of tobacco stalks
I still remember those front porch talks
Sleeping in your lap while the tractor wound down
I always called you Pop instead of Father but
You never raised your hand in violence
You were decent man in a World gone to Hell
You taught us how to stand like men, how to think for ourselves
& How not to be a manly husband cause you never got that right
Momma always ran the show & I always ran momma
So I guess in a way you always looked at me as the man of the house
If it was broke I learned how to fix it, from a pocket watch to a VCR
The only thing I was missing was a hot-rod car but
We had an old Chevy that ran like mule from dusk till dawn
We all pulled our own weight
I never saw you cry till that die I literally died
On that hospital bed; I told you never fear
It wasn't my time neither God nor I 
Was even close to ready
In those halogen light's I saw your soul
I knew you would never leave me alone
The say pain sharpens senses, as I looked at his face
Skin dark tanned from the Sun, rough from years of work
His voice was cracked & his hands were shaking
His lip's mouthing a prayer to "Save my boy"
No one could say if I was gonna make it
So many breaks & so many fractures
Blood, asphalt, rocks, concussions
But we all came through it
& I taught myself to walk one more time
& then I rewalked every inch of that old oak forest
Coming to a stop at Serenity Falls
It was all of one foot tall but it was a beautiful place to hide away
Six months hiking to the top of Chimney Rock Park
I let Creation know that my father raised a Survivor
Let the record state that you saved my hide more than once or twice
Without you I would've never learned
When to go for the knockout & when not to fight
How to settle things down & the true division between wrong & right
You told me every man is his own mountain
& whether you move it or not; you leave to your own conscience
So I sit down with a pen & this Farmer's Son
Had finally earned the right to become a Poet
For all the memories that no one else can share
For all the late night shadow games &
Taking the blame when mom went searching
All I know, & I know for certain
My father was a damn good man
He lived a damn good life,
He wore the same blue shirt with his name in the corner
He hated life in a suit & tie
But he taught me how to live mine

Far above the calling of a simple farmer
Life is a Battle, Life is a War
From the tragedy of my first broken heart
Who I just keep believing is happily living
Till my own dying thoughts
But this is my truth & I've laid it all on the line
It’s all I have & if it’s not enough then it’s still been worth it
To take this trip down memory lane
Cause now I can see my father’s face, plain as the picture inside my wallet
All in all, all I really wanted to say was:
Pop, this is your song
You will always be the Micky to my Rocky
&
The Snowman to my Bandit
&
When I see you in the great big Hallelujah 
I’m fulfill that promise I made while jumping off the hill behind your store
One day I'm gonna become so strong I won't even need wings
I'll just think it & rocket away up into the sky & soar

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