Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

Hey Dad,

So this is the first one with you gone. No, I'm not going to get all weepy. But, it is your birthday.

Lot's been happening. The house is getting painted. They reached my old room today. Three pink walls and one blue. And that was before the painters got in there.

The room was totally pink when we moved in, but you finally got out a can of blue paint and did make that one wall more fitting for a boy.

You never got around to painting the other three walls. Not in the 26 years since we moved in. The painters have just a base coat down, but the room will finally have its makeover.

Seeing that first coating on that lone blue wall... things really have changed.

And yeah, that means the paintings I did on that wall are vanishing too. I remember the hours spent sketching and then painting those characters and you never gave me grief about marking up the wall.

I was always sketching and scribbling, but you never told me to stop. You did say no to me going to that cartooning school. You just wanted to make sure I could feed myself when I grew up.

We'll put the house on the market after the work is done. Mom will likely move to Virginia. She'll get to see the Josh and Justin all the time.

Not sure what we'll do with Pepper and Paulie. They're older dogs, not easy to get them into new homes. Pepper is still the boss and Paulie runs around like crazy. But he gets tired after a while and finds a nice corner to flop down.

There's a lot to get done yet and I get tired too. You always had that do-it-yourself mentality... unfortunately you didn't always finish everything you started. Like painting my bedroom. Or fixing the plumbing. Or restoring your old cars.

You don't have to worry about those things now. I've got it covered. Happy birthday.

P.S. Mom just found the mess you left under the bed. Guess who gets to clean it up.

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away