This is my latest column on The Barrow Journal. It’s a tribute to my dad, who turned 76 years old recently. In it I mentioned my major memories from my childhood with my dad, who loved boating and traveling and often took us with him. We also had our share of mishaps on these trips. Below is a poem that I wrote many years ago about dad with a similar theme. I usually don’t share poetry online….I’m not much of a poet. But I thought I would make an exception because this relates to the column.
Happy Birthday, Dad! Click here to go to the column.
stranded countless times
down the Colorado,
and i didn’t care— the roving landscape,
the reds, browns
greens, blues and countless stars—
the night eased sensations
of just needin’ fixin’.
a man with a broken boat and fix-it tools is powerful and busy,
his grunts and moans float on the breeze of the white water
gushing from beneath the boat.
i knew he’d fix it,
or find someone to tow us in.
my father, the captain of countless water trains,
patrols, sympathetic vacationers or once the fuel barge and down wind
from the dumpster, we were hauled up river.
it never occurred to me to get angry or impatient
because life was always like this, vacations weren’t the same
without the boat or camper or car or something going down,
and i never felt safer than when i was stranded in a boat
on the Colorado
with four foot white caps
and a wavering achor.