Honoring Dad for Father’s Day

 

Cover art by Elaine Lewis

Water Over Time: Short Prose and Poems of Life in Guam

My family moved to Guam when my father got a job as an electronics engineer for the Civil Service in 1967. We ended up staying there longer than expected because he enjoyed island life, and, because I was a good kid, I grew to love the island too. At first I rebelled like any normal teenager, but eventually Guam’s beauty won me over. Imagine summer weather all the time, beautiful beaches and sunsets, and a slow pace.

My collection of short prose and poems, Water Over Time, is an autobiographical account that spans twelve years. Photographs (including ones by Dad, Morton Friedman) are included.  For Father’s Day I wanted to share a poem that honors him. Sadly, he died in 1982. Dad was optimistic, sarcastic but kind, and a great father. Sailing and photography were his two passions. He eventually bought his own sailboat and rounded up family or friends to hop aboard. When I think of him I see him standing behind his tripod gazing at the horizon while waiting for the perfect shot. The poem below is part of my collection.

He Taught Me How

Sailing was my father’s
cure for island fever

Hug the tiller tight
he’d say
watch the boom
as we turn about

My father was a great joker
Know why it’s called a boom
because when it hits your head
BOOM

All day we’d sail
till the sea flattened to glass
and the sun setting on the horizon
winked green

Do you see the green flash
my father would ask
as if our sailing bliss
depended upon my answer

Yes I see
I still do

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