Never Forgotten

A child’s view of father is conceptual at best
A collage of patchwork memories,
Photos held with yellowed corners
Dates looping in the emptiness
clustered on pages that smell of closets and care.
My memories concoct a scarecrow
Antlers and moustache and guitar
Strength and height and a laugh like water over rocks
Arms that could encircle the world.
With nothing but memories to dress him
He wears bellbottom pants
In brown, I think - that would be best.
I stuff his shirt with pillow muscles
and on his shoulder, a one-eyed cat.
He urges me to dance, to sing, to create
A child himself.
But crows can be relentless
And soon he is gone
leaving a pile of records and fishing poles
and a single harmonica.
But I am not bitter, angry or afraid.
Through him I have seen the land where rocks touch the sky
And freedom is more than a word.
It is hands on clay
The lilt of a song
And love.

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