Tag Archives: fathers and sons

A Hamburger for Breakfast (by Forgottenman) Reblog

I couldn’t find a reblog button on Forgottenman’s post, but he gave me permission to quote a bit and give a link. This is a fun essay. Check it out!

A Hamburger for Breakfast

–by Forgottenman               

Dad and I were apparently very close when I was a baby, based on the photos my mom took. But the disengagement came later, when I was about three, when Mom took control. Control.

I grew up right here where I type this, in this very house. Playing outside here as a kid there were always summer crickets to be found, to be chased and caught, and to be kindly released. Occasionally, one would make his way inside the house, but his song made it easy for us to track him down, to catch him, and to release him outside. It’s different today.

In the summer of 1960 I was eight years old. I was a smart kid but (therefore?) floundering in what to make of life, of family. One day Dad mentioned he and his buddy Carmack were going fishing Saturday at Duck Creek (not really a creek, but rather a man-made cypress swamp created by the Missouri Conservation Department). Somehow, he gauged me and decided to ask if I’d like to join them on the excursion. I nervously accepted. I had never been fishing before.

I had already disappointed him, and he had disappointed me. When I was four I was thrilled when he promised he’d take me the next day to pick up our new 1955 Chevy Bel Air at the car dealer, but he “let” me sleep in instead. (I still can’t forgive him, though he is ten years gone. I was devastated.) A few years later he would take me to little league baseball sign-up night, but I couldn’t get up the nerve to go inside. A few years after that he stormed out at me when I relayed a message from Mom that made him mad – and she made him apologize to me when he returned. I knew early I wasn’t the son he had hoped for. I know now that I never would be, exactly, although we would eventually, um – accommodate. But Dad invited me to go fishing with him that day in 1960, and that moment was perfect.

….read the rest of the story HERE.

The Wager

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The Wager

When I was a mere teenager,
my dad made a little wager.
Could I manage to exist
by guile and craft and will and fist

without allowance or assistance?
It was not at his insistence,
and in no way was I miffed
at his challenge aimed at thrift.

I packed a bag and caught a lift.
For one year I would simply drift.
Quietly would I abscond 
and win my keep as vagabond.

I’d leave a life humdrum and canned
to live a life less gray and bland.
And thus I started my vacation
around our great and varied nation.

In California, I mowed lawns,
in Texas, worked at shucking prawns.
Combined wheat in South Dakota.
Then made off for Minnesota.

Washing pots and dishing curry,
worked my way down to Missouri.
In Tennessee I met with luck
and crossed the whole state in a truck,

but by D.C. and Baltimore,
grunt labor had become a bore,
so when I finally reached the ocean,
suddenly I had the notion

to make a call to dad from son
telling him his son had won.
The call I made was not in vain,
for next day I was on a plane.

Tattered, back-sore, sunburned, chapped,
I showed my dad the miles I’d mapped.
He slapped my back and said, “Well, son,
you’ve done what I wished I had done

before I did each of those things
that doing what one ‘should’ do brings.”
He slapped a check into my hand
and promised college, job or land.

I would be sent to school or hired—
whatever now I most desired.
I told my dad I’d let him know
but for just now I had to go.

I hit the bank and cashed his check,
bought new clothes and washed my neck.
Grabbed my passport, kissed my mom,
let her feed me, dropped the bomb.

Hugged my dad, then counted coup
and hopped a plane for Katmandu.
I hadn’t traveled my last mile,
but from now on, I’d go in style!

 

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The prompt words today are drift, humdrum, abscond and wager.

Father and Son

Martin, who owns the restaurant where we hold our Saturday writers group meetings, has his sons with him in the restaurant 5 days a week, and sometimes on weekends. He is just an amazing father, as you can see in these photos.  You must enlarge to see these darling father/son poses.

 

For COB

The Meeting

 

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The Meeting

A simple country rube was he,
short at the cuff and out at knee;
but standing with his hat in hand,
he made a gesture brave and grand.
He faced the richest man in town—
a brutal man of wide renown
who saw him as a simple clown—
a fool just made for shooting down.

While in his case, it was debated
whether being educated
made a fellow learning-smart
at the expense of building heart,
nonetheless, he was well-suited.
His choice in fashion not disputed.
Well-barbered, polished, buff and tan,
the epitome of a GQ man.

He stood there in his doorway wide,
framed by the luxury inside
and eyed this bumpkin, shy and dim.
What business had this man with him?
“Speak up,” he barked, “if you are able!
You’ve pulled me from my breakfast table.
Speak your piece and take you off
to plow or hoe or watering trough!”

And though the rube was shy and humble,
he did not stammer, falter, mumble.
He simply drew a folded note
from the pocket of his coat,
handed it over, and said good-bye,
facing him with steely eye,
and with no other reason to stay,
climbed in his pickup and drove away.

The great man turned upon his heel
and went in to resume his meal.
He buttered toast and spread compote
before he thought to read the note.
“Jacob,” it said, “I am Janelle—
that one that you once knew so well.
When I left, you never knew
inside I carried part of you.

But now my life is nearly done,
I think it’s fair you meet your son.
Because of my sad circumstance,
he promised to give you a chance
to reap the harvest you have sown
and meet the son you’ve never known.
But, take care that things do not go badly.
He does not suffer fools gladly.”

 

The prompt word today was rube.

The Lap

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The Lap

Mothers with children in your lap,
snuggled safely for their nap,
or joggers slowing down their laps
so their sons can fill the gaps
and catch up to take their father’s hands,
consider parents in other lands
as well as children of your own.
Consider what seeds might be sown.

Those who assign Hillary
to whipping post and pillory
bring charges that are spurious
which is especially curious
when the other candidate
who spreads these messages of hate
has led a life luxurious,
exploitative and usurious.

When he claims to be for the masses,
how can we be such senseless asses
to vote for this self-serving fool––
misogynistic, crude and cruel?
How can you listen and not see
how dangerous this man could be?
His fake statistics, groundless rap
spewed from his seat in luxury’s lap?

Please with the election nearing,
consider what you should be fearing.
I hope that every dad and mom
pictures his finger on the bomb.
Do you want this master of derision
making that supreme decision?
This man who overlooks the facts,
and simply rushes out and acts—

could act to end the world for good
and thereby end your parenthood.

Version 2

 

The prompt word today was “Luxury.”