Daughter, three sons, three
families jumbled, never
quite sewn or woven as if the
tailor needed to
practice first. Yet stitches held,
my fingerprints an impression,
my hands a touch, a shape.
With limited and partially
incoherent knowledge, I laid out
the paths for each. Four
predictions, failed. Four charted
courses, not taken. I was as wrong
as my father before me. They were
mists, slipping through my arms.
baby’s cry her mother’s leaving us first Sunday dress first day of school then Helen and her girl watching over mine because we were married and I had the war Navy Pacific kamikazes coming at us all the time every day Hawaii Phillipines Shanghai Okinawa Discharge Helen gone with someone else so to New Orleans and magazines on shrimp and boats and fish I hated fishing but it was a living she was sitting outside my office typing telling me about her son and her first marriage so we did my third her second a new baby boy
who didn’t talk like any of us no Southern no Nawlins accent and restless moved to Florida my dad died so back to New Orleans and the shrimp and fish and boats so I started my own business printing and mailing and I didn’t see the kids for weeks on end they became strangers I’d try but it didn’t work well she made me take him who shared my name to the French Quarter for his birthday I couldn’t help it it was five months late but we did it after she and I fought because I needed to go to work that Saturday
new son came late I was 45 when I finally had time they didn’t and were gone to school to college to Texas to Michigan to Missouri it all slips by and grandchildren strangers I didn’t know but I loved them and always work and work and back to work good provider always but the business never really turned a profit negative cash flow I’m just having my coffee and cigarette it’s Saturday morning and I have to go into work the pain shoots up my leg and arm and the very last thing I will ever say is call 9-1…
I had my three score and ten,
just a bit more, in fact, and it
was too soon and too late, too
soon to finish what needed
ending, too late to mend what
was torn. But it was sufficient.
It was enough.
Wishing All the Pins Had Held by Ann Kroeker for the High Callings Blogs.