Tradition For Dad—Happy Father's Day.

Dave and Rick used to sled under the fence

Leading to Ted's fishing camp in the wintertime,

When wolves staggered across the frozen lake

Outside my grandmother's bay window.

They cut through barbed wire fences in spring,

Intruding into empty cow fields

To catch frogs that sold at a quarter a bag

To the fishers and guides of Griffin's Cottages.

When summer came, they played cops and robbers

Out back on the steep hill behind the kitchen office

Rick rolled onto a hornet's nest

And Dave was surprised at how well

Rick could mimic being shot.

Rick and Dave grew up one day,

Started their own exuberant families

That they took bouncing down those dusty roads,

Taking the corners sharp around the fields of alfalfa.

We sit on our fathers' lap, yelling the words

To songs by Jimmy Buffet and the Beach Boys.

We speed out upon the water, spending

Hours under the hot sun fishing.

We catch bluegills and hammer handles,

Occasionally the champion bass.

Then we sit in the golden light of the cabin,

Playing Yahtzee and watching nature come alive around us.

As night falls around this old house,

We huddle around the smoky fire pit,

Listening as the loons call forlornly across the water.