Fathers and Sons Uncategorized

Afternoon at Lakewood

IMG_20160608_180407Whatever remains lie beneath

six, eight, feet; compacted dirt
atop concrete lid, polished walnut box
thirty years I have come to this spot
far longer to this place
to the eye, comfortably little is changed
thirty years say everything has

yes and no

he would be one-hundred now
hard to imagine him at a full century
gone nearly a third of that
what I have needed since, I found
elsewhere, in old lessons retooled
for different times, I am a different son

This is my default settingMe age 4

there is nothing left here
nobody who can help me with this one
today is not fixing a broken toy
drying a child’s tears
calming a bad dream
grabbing a ball and two gloves

things he really didn’t do much anyway

never playing to the archetypes
to his everlasting credit and my heredity;
some nature, some nurture
something else altogether unique
sometimes I wonder if I would
engender more pride than eye rolls

I cannot hint for compliments
I can only sit, contemplate

sometimes I ask questionsIMG_20160608_181941
every now and then I swear I hear
answers in a crisp, familiar timbre
tinged with the irony of knowing answers
before asking but needing to be sure
I come, sit in the grass, bask in the
adoring glow of ancient, swaying, elms
casting no less a shadow than
those wafting up through hard dirt

I can only sit, ruminate
a wineless communion

The bronze plaque at my feet
perpendicular to the rows of weathered
marble and granite stretching out in
neat rows to not-so-distant horizon

squinting into late afternoon sun
dad’s marker a welcome mat beforeIMG_20160608_181854
two rows of sunken, off-kilter markers
of familial consequence, inspiration
roots of a family tree
some limbs I knew, loved in life
other branches only by quirky legacy

my DNA fertilizes this lush ground
rich dust-to-dust opportunities
for second opinions abound

there is cool contentment here
maudlin sentimentality not a game we play
I have come here with purpose, pride
as always soaking up what I can
gleaning what I need to
address whatever challenge I have

or sometimes, just to kill a little time in
idle, silent conversation with my dad

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016