Friday, August 19, 2016

In Memory of My Father

My father died 2 years ago, 3 days after his 90th birthday.
So he did get to live a long, fairly positive life.

And during the last year--despite many dangerous and damaging illnesses--
my normally serious dad suddenly gained a funny sense of the absurd,
even throwing out a few puns like his son.

In memory of him, I am posting this true story he and my mother experienced.
I wrote down their narrative of an unusual experience
in 3 million-plus Orange County, California.

It's like nature brought back to my aged father his early experiences
on the edge of Orland in northern California
and then
growing up on a small farm in southeastern Nebraska
at the start of the Great Depression.

From my Father's point of view:

The Possibility of the Suburbs

Clearing out our rags and boxes
In the cluttered corner of our
Potted-plant patio on Edinger,
I jumped; something moved.

Eyeballing a dark, pudgy furness,
I exclamation-pointed
To my ‘utterly’ surprised mate.
Oh the possibilities...

A large possum mothering
Her 4 little infants scrunched
Under our old Persian rug
By the many green succulents.

My laughing wife handed me
Our long-poled ‘litter’ picker.
I snatched each scrawny brown tot
Up by the neck and delivered it

Into the aluminum trash dumpster
And then up-zooed their mother
By grabbing her long ratty tail.
Oh the possibilities...

We pulled a large board on the bin
And later drove our wild ones
Over to a drainage ditch where
Those runts climbed on their mother’s back

And disappeared into dense brush
In the crowded midst of 3 million
Humans twilight-zoned with another
Odd question for their creator:

How was it possible for us
Oldsters to hike countless wild trails
In wild Yellowstone Park last year
Oh the possibilities...

Through forests and rushing rivers
Yet never see one such critter?
This sidekick of them all,
With wily fellow travelers--

Oh the ‘possumbility’ of nature!

-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in Abandoned Towers
in different form

In the Light-hearted memory of my father,

Daniel Wilcox

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