I found the fortune teller at the foot of the unnamed mountains to the east Claiming to cast spells and read palms she wanted gold shells for payment but all I had was a worn copy of The Sun Also Rises Along the road I saw a man his oiler’s cap was tilted at a jaunty angle a Purple Water vanity kit rattled in his pocket As I looked for fresh fonts and teenage angst he walked past me into the young sunlight
1999 When I was younger, I would think I don’t learn neat things from you like my friends from their dads. I didn’t learn to hunt, ride a snowmobile, or fix a car. I wondered how you knew about fixing things around the house. How was I going to remember it all? Why didn’t you know how to fix a car, or hunt? How I wished you did. Years later, I don’t like to hunt, ride snowmobiles or fix up cars. I like to build porches, talk about landscaping, how to unclog pipes. You let me to learn from my mistakes, to find my way, offering guidance even when I didn’t listen (I learned my stubbornness from you too). 2021 I have two boys of my own. You’d be eighty-one this year, but you’ve been gone for nine. I miss talking to you. But you’re still teaching me.
Stocky and solidly built
The wide brimmed hat shading
His weathered face from the mid-day sun
A man of 86
Not one to mince words
Requesting one last ride before he kicks off
“I was practically born on one of these”
A longing in his eyes
He recounts distant memories
A log cabin in the Western Nevada mountains
An uncle raising horses
In the saddle now,
He guides the horse around the corral
A mischievous grin spreading across his face
Pour your emotion onto the floor.
When you no longer look with forlorn eyes
you will see hope.