My Father « Back

For David Mobley

His blue eyes are sharp. He drives along in the truck
slows down, points into a field, a baby antelope
standing so still it is barely there. He can spot anything.
Then he'll get out a spotting scope or binoculars. Point.
Set your eye on the nest.

When I was young, he was so tall I could barely see
the blue of his eyes when he was standing.
He would hold his finger down, I would wrap my hand,
full palm, against his finger and we would walk.
We would walk toward the horse pasture, down by the swing,
near the horse radish plant. He would place the saddle pad,
lift me up onto a horse named Babe and I would ride in circles.
Later, I rode beside him. He rode Ab and I rode a horse
named Scooter on a small leather saddle.

My mother tells that when he had been busy,
had not seen me for several days, he came
into the bedroom to wake me up to say hello.
I remember sitting on his lap with my head against his chest
listening to his breath and his heart as he scratched my back.
Sometimes, I would sit on his lap and he would draw witches,
guys with big ears and talk to me, only me there on his lap.

I went fishing with my dad. There at Sunlight Creek, he wore
his waders and would carry me on his back, our fishing poles in hand,
my head over his shoulder, soggy tennis shoes dripping down.
He'd say lean forward, lean forward and move with me
so I don't fall on the rocks. Don.t fall on the rocks.
He showed me how to cast with the spinner and fly.

My father loves cats. I think he always has. When I was small,
he showed me how to make the cat purr by pushing my
face against the warm fur on her belly, brr brrrr brr with my lips.

It is a beautiful creaking screen door morning.
Cottonwood trees...Four herons in the rookery.
Six nests in the tree. Wings are blue grey,
heads white with black stripe. He points out the nest to me.
I think, if we could climb to the stick nests, we would find 3 to 7 eggs
the blue green color of my father's eyes.