Rock Springs, Wyoming, 2006
We in our trailer, one mile out of town.
Two bedrooms with holes in walls.
Memories in the carpet
Old family pictures on the wall.
What I remember:
Granma’s old chair rocking in the corner.
Dishes stacked high in the sink
Slivers scar my feet
Waiting in that kitchen.
He comes in after work.
Sits in his lazy chair and unties his boots.
I take them to the front porch
My chore for the night.
“Dad is god in the eye of a child of a son.” he said.
I get him a glass of homemade ice tea.
So he can watch his channel.
I am too short to reach the freezer.
I call for my brother.Sam comes over,
Calls me short
Gets the ice.
Sam goes back to our room
Gets ready for bed.I pour the big pitcher in the mug
Three ice cubes in the cup.
I bring it to Dad.His left hand
Moles and wrinkles
His gold wedding ring
Dad tells me to go to bed.
“Why?” I ask
“Why not,” Dad said “Is the real question to be asked?”
My whole life flashes before my eyes.
I feel all that I went through
But right then
Arms of black shirt
Tuck me in
Wood bunk bed.
Our names scratched
Bottom and top.
“Why not is I can’t anymore”, I said,
“I don’t want to go through this again.”
Can you try?
“How could I try there’s no hope for me? “
Dad pulls up a chair.
Find a reason.
“Just give me one”
Have you felt love? Have you met the one?
“People pushed me away, they lied.” I said,
“They treated me.”
Did you hate someone?
“I almost never disrespected anyone but they used it against me if I did.”
Have you found a god in your life son, a religion to praise?
“Dad is god in the eye of a child.”
Dad never helped.
All he did was look the other way in disappointment.
I never looked the other way.
“I was here
Through your love
I was here
Through the hate that you gave.”
Dad is god in the eye of a child.
I just miss him
Words by William Brashier
Photos by Jessi Proulx