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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer 2014 - Happy Birthday, Parrish

I stand at the end of the pier
the sound stretching out between me
& the suspension bridge & a
fiery sunset of clouds purpled by
exhaust spewed from stacks at 
the chemical plant   the pulp mill.

I turn & it’s last summer when
desite the seagull droppings
you fixed your elbows on the rail  
adjusted your sunglasses & cap 
studied the horizon for the yellow
pilot boat bringing your father
back through choppy waters.

Faces hidden behind dark shades 
& floppy hats   unfortunates  
from Nebraska where there is 
no ocean or salt air to breathe
ambled to the rail. 
Chest puffed out you pointed to the craft
as the boatman worked it snugly 
against the pier’s metal ladder.

Your father fixed his hands on it   
his head popped under the guard chain
& he stood as you pulled him 
into a man hug.

The unfortunates stepped in to shake  
hands with the famous bar pilot
snap photos & drift down the dock
to see what the crabbers were catching.  

It’s today again & and I shift 
my gaze back to the fiery sunset
now slipping over the edge
of the earth   it splays rays of pink
& fuchsia & orange into 
the purple haze   settles into
the horizon & a tear gleams
on my cheek in its last light. 

Copyright 2015 cj Schlottman