Stilts

For my 6th birthday, my Father made them of scrap wood—two by fours, both four feet long, with chocks of wood to stand on.

I lean against the garage, place my left foot on one chock, then swing my right foot onto the other. I hug each board and tilt forward a bit, till I feel his hand on my back. I lift my head and gaze into a distance I have never seen before.

Sunday morning, stilts stashed under the back porch, he and I scale two tiers of granite steps, up to the huge doors of Saint Paul’s. He rushes inside to grab his usher’s badge. Holding tight to the railing, I turn around and look to the horizon, intrigued by all the crossroads in my neighborhood I am eager to travel.

Dad returns to greet folks with a pat on the back, and “How’s the family?”  His childhood home, muted in smog, sat atop the heavy metal slag of East Chicago. But he’s at home now, in this place, with God as his surrogate Father, always sober, who has his back. Dad’s obligation, I think, is to return the favor; at the final blessing, as the organ blast announces the recessional, he steps into the empty vestibule in order to swing open the massive doors.

Today, the horizon fogs, as I watch a rain storm lower itself over the mountain. It occurs to me that rain continually moves from cloud to earth, and earth to cloud, so it never really leaves.

~~~~~~~~~

Jean Cassidy, Late Fall 2020

STILTS is included in the Short- List Fish Publishing Poetry Prize 2021

 

 

 

 

 

poetry, wnc poets, writing

Comments (5)

  • What beautiful thoughts. Don’t know how to describe my reactions appropriately. You have touched not only my heart but my soul.
    Your poetry and music make the world a better place. Congratulations on this most deserved recognition.

  • What beautiful thoughts.I don’t know how to describe my reactions appropriately. You have touched not only my heart but my soul.
    Your poetry and music make the world a better place. Congratulations on this most deserved recognition.

  • The poem is so descriptive that I felt myself pulled right into it as if I were the one they’re trying out the stilts. When I love the most about the poem is the snapshot it gives of such a deeply loving interaction between you and your father Dash a fun memory

  • jean this is so VERY LOVELY. Just Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!! Check out River Teeth’s Beautiful Things. It does many things that are similar to this one. Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for YOU.

    love and SO Much Unique Creative ENERGY, Bonnie

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