for Father's Day

Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago, and here is a photo Mom captured when we were crossing a river on our way around Mount Rainier. The bridge had washed out.

(Can you see me there, on Dad's back?)

As My Father and I Cross Alaska’s Shore

from rock to rock
his cheeks scrunch
trying to get his glasses
closer to his eyes. 
One hand
grips the air
for balance,
the other clutches
the hand
belonging
to the blonde child
who barely reaches
his hip. Dad’s glasses
slip again as he swings
me with him
from rock to rock.
His bad back
bows like a breaking bridge beneath
the backpack crammed
with Ramen noodles
and the leaky tent,
the Raggedy Ann doll
I couldn’t leave
at the house, 
and the crinkled
blue stone
I couldn’t leave
on the beach.

Danielle ShullComment