Tuesday, November 9, 2010


One day, is how the story always began,
a description of fly fishing in Alaskan waters,
a pontoon plane for hire, landing right on the lake.
A week’s worth of catching rainbow trout,
sockeye salmon, northern pike on the shores of
Echo Lake, Cottonwood Lake, and Coyote Lake.
Eagles flying above icy waters, the greenest trees.

Now when I stop to think about him,
it’s hard to remember him speaking of a
trip or vacation in his life of labor and work.
Maybe he considered the days of driving a
General’s Jeep in Japan a type of trip.
Working in logging camps of North Carolina,
living in the woods, movable cabins on sleds
dragged to where the timber was logged.
Driving his tractor for a huge factory farm in
New Jersey must’ve been a type of adventure.

Perhaps he felt he’d already seen the country,
truckloads of Christmas trees, delivering shrubs
to the White House, those days as a nurseryman.
In the end, his greatest trip, back to the foothills
of Tennessee with his sons, where they grew baccer,
thousands of acres of maters, and raised cattle.

Each day, content to walk out his front door
to work in his fields, his greenhouses, his garage.
His wife traveled with her sisters to Myrtle Beach,
Florida, river boat cruises, but he stayed behind.
Content to sit in a slow moving rocker on the porch,
enjoying strong black coffee in a old chipped cup,
smoking, telling his plans of one day going on a trip.

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