Thursday, February 19, 2009

Papa's Poem

I should probably save this for a special occasion, like Father's Day or Dad's birthday. But this for certain needs to be published, and somewhere more prominent than my little blog. Dr. Melton, retired professor at Emmanuel College once told me a story about my father. He actually told me this story every time he saw me and he would chuckle every time. So cute. He said Dad came to class one day with a snake. A homework project had been assigned, perhaps to write a speech or give a presentation. Young Carl, perhaps distracted by other things, forgot to do his homework. But being the clever lad that he was and is, he found a snake on the way to class and used it to stand before his teacher and make up clever, unique, some true, and some questionable, facts about the snake. He held his audience captive and received an A on the project. Dr. Melton confessed that he could not give him a bad grade, but knew for sure that Carl had not planned ahead and was really, really good at wingin' it. I can't say that I am as good as he, at wingin' it, but I have certainly been there many times. I don't know for sure, but I think this poem was Dad's "snake". It was December 2000 and he had no idea what to get Mom for Christmas. I am certain a very, very good present followed. But this is what she got. An illustated version of a poem, written just for her. He's good. Very good.

When I was young, I dreamed of slaying dragons, and of treasure.

But I was young and dragons and the world were big,

so the dragons flew overhead and asked,

"Where's the treasure?"

When I was a prince and you were my princess, I dreamed of slaying dragons, and of treasure.

But someone had to guard the castle and take out the trash.

So the dragons dropped rocks with notes tied to them that said,

"Where's the treasure?" and "Don't forget to take out the trash."

When I was a king and you were my queen, I dreamed of slaying dragons and of treasure.

But we had a kingdom to run and the dragons came on Saturday morning

and sat on the lawnmower and said things like,

"Where's the treasure?" and "This thing's out of gas."

and "You call this a kingdom?"

And the gray dragons came and stole the years and put wrinkles in my mirror

and took my sword (or maybe I forgot where I put it).

And they would come right up and whisper in my good ear,

"Where's the treasure?"

But now I am the dragon and on Saturday mornings I chase the maidens

through feathered mountains and I gnaw their bones and steal

their kisses until they yell,

"Nona, make Papa stop."

And like all dragons, I know where the treasure is. - CSD

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