2019, my Dad and coming back

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2019 was a year that was filled with loss for me and my family – a dear aunt, my step mother and then Dad. I have not been able to write much, but am now ramping up for NaPoWriMo. Plus, I am beginning a yoga teacher training and have promised to rekindle my writing practice as part of this.

To recognize all this change, here is a favorite poem that I wrote for Dad, and a few links to others he inspired (he always made me think hard on Veteran’s Day). Hope you enjoy them.

How trees grow
Veteran’s Day poems

Walking through woods without my father

I am not sure if it is the breeze,
wilder, more freeing than any in the city,
or the wintergreen sending its scent
up to play with the blueberries and pine
that brings on this longing afresh.
You would perch yourself on a ridge
like this one overlooking the lake

or a forested horizon, endless to me,
and explain how the horses would trail
over the opposite ridge or
how they used to graze in the pasture
beyond that overgrown farm field,
how you’d camp between those two trees
when you were twelve, or on the beach.

Even though this is a different woods,
new to you, I am somehow certain
you would have such stories to tell.
You’d pause to take in the air, deep
and daydreamy, with your easy
swing of a step that said
you were not in the city, no, not today.

You’d skim your hand over the leaves
and look to the sky to tell me the time.

Dad three portraits

Dad at about age 12 (my personal favorite), age 20 (heading off to Korea), and age 70.