Thursday, December 6, 2007

Father's People

//cafe au lait freeway

(Cairngorm....a yellow or brown
variety of quartz, used as a gem)
Webster's New World Dict., 2nd edition

Father’s People

I thought of a ring
I used to have
as we drove North
today, when I saw
the dune-colored
hills alongside of the freeway.
The quail-gray road
ribboned through hills
that were mostly
the shade of sand
but sometimes
darker, like
shot with gold.
The center
of the road was a row
of oleander bushes,
shaped like Celtic huts of stone,
pink and red and white,
against laurel-green leaves,
reminding me of fine, soft tartan,
set off by the gray of the freeway.
To the West, thick fog
hung in the tops of fir-
green redwoods,
and with the
bluebell sky, that view
felt Scottish to me too,
like a Highland mist,
beyond the cairngorm-
colored, gold-flecked hills.
The voices of my father’s people
with their
Scottish burrs
chattered in my head,
over the sound of Enya
singing, “The Memory of Trees.”
A picture rose of
my father’s mother
under a white-oak tree,
pointing at mistletoe
in cold December gloom,
wearing the ring
and dressed in blue,
while ravens cawed
as they flew away
and my father climbed
the ladder.

When we got home today,
I made us Scottish
shortbread for tea
and thought about my daddy.

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