Sketch 1: Water and Silt
Today’s poem can be found in my new collection or in accompaniment with John Spiers’ wonderful sketch.
My dad was a dreamer, a word that some people (not anyone here I’m sure) use dismissively. I never have.
He had many dreams and while this was not by any means the most important, it was one that had a direct impact on the way I view life.
All dreams don’t come true, of course. The rain does fall on the just and on the unjust.
Although my dad mainly made map and roads, he did on occasion put up buildings. The particular ones in question were townhouses, which were not then the ubiquitous phenomena they are now. There was every reason to believe the development would be a success. Its location would be just a short commute into the metro area once the proposed freeway was completed.
But then the 1974 US recession took place and the freeway was delayed.
The comfortable life I had led was no more.
No, it wasn’t the Appalachian poverty you read about in Winter’s Bone but our new home was very old and in very bad shape, and though I always had something to eat, we ate what we could afford, and during that four-month period we consumed more eggs than we probably should have mainly because they came free from the ornery hens in the chicken coop in back.
It was difficult being uprooted, and I absolutely hated my time spent there. However, now that I’m much older (in fact, the same age as my dad was then), I can appreciate that the experience gave me an understanding I might not have had otherwise. Empathy is important as is a willingness to lend a hand. There but for the grace of God go I.