Tribute

Tribute

Tribute was published in Out Loud: A Year in Review 2017.


Sometime between the October sunlight
And the geese overhead at dusk,
A little girl sat on the front porch step
Fingering the stucco design on the wall.
Her father was working on a car in yard,
And she marveled that he was her daddy.
His hands were the tools to repair and create
From autos to rooftops to molded clay shapes.
He used them to doctor the dogs on the farm
And to offer an honest man’s contract.
How could she be part of him,
Who awkwardly clasped
The pencil for writing or the dishes for drying?
But she smiled to herself in safe satisfaction
For his rough cracked hands mapped her own destination–
And in the evening he read poems aloud
Just for her.

Sometime between morning
And the afternoon sunlight
A little girl walked with
Her mother and brother.
Her mother skipped between the two children
As they gathered the sweet peas
That grew wild in the hedge.
The little girl marveled that she was her mother,
For her movements were grace notes that
Sprinkled the dust
And bass notes that
Bellowed her strength.
How could she be part of her,
Who tripped over her laces and stumbled along?
But she basked in her fortune and accepted the gift
That her mother would lead her
To step nimbly and bravely
As she danced with the child in the kitchen and
Sang songs to the child in the dark.

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