Monday, November 2, 2009

Poetry Tribute to Don Bovaird

I know nowadays a poem is not as esteemed if it rhymes, (that's considered passe) or if doesn't have a certain rhythm with the syllables. A poem this long should be free verse, I'm told from my critique circle. But I like it. It expresses what I feel my father's life stood for. There are a couple of lines I could tweek, but this is the story of my dad's life. So, I guess that makes it a story poem. It's light, and every bit true-to-form. I'd like to put it at the end of my book with a photo of my dad, his truck and his dog.

~ ~ ~ ~

My father lived as he saw fit, kind to all, giving bit by bit,
To his family and children, he seemed to never quit.
The land, his trees and cars were his favorite pastimes,
They made up his life and summed up his fast times;
Missy and Elmo with snoots to the wind brought him great pleasure,
In exchange for a doughnut, some pie, and the parades to treasure.
To children around town he offered rides and great tales,
To his customers, a chance to see Lake Erie and their boat sails;
He kept a family-run trade his kids often part ‘a the crew,
His wife did the accounts and answered calls as it grew.
A long-time tree squad made up of a bunch ‘a guys,
More like monkeys with fun and mischief to devise;
He built up the business with his know-how and two hands,
Some chainsaws, a few old trucks and a trailer of spray cans;
His trucks groaned onto the tree site, leaving a trail a’ oil stains
And a ground man with sawdust to cover or leave for the rains.
Soon Dad would drive up in a rickety truck to give an order or two,
Then chortle off with instructions for the other work crew.
I knew Dad would never retire; he’d simply inquire
Seek yet another goal to acquire and dream to inspire;
Unique and bold to ‘branch out’ on untried roads ahead,
From cutting down trees to stretching out cars with old tread;
A fun loving man to know with a great many stories to tell,
All around people would wave, or sit down for a spell;
From chasing a crook to putting out fire, or dispatching a call –
Just talk to my dad who seemed to have done it all!
He mapped each road and unmarked route in his head,
Assuming his guys’ local geography just as widespread.
An optimist to the end he always started a brand new trend,
It still seems as if ‘The Tree Man’ will appear just around the bend --
With a wave and a smile, perhaps a honk as a sign,
And that trademark black Lab with a bark from behind.

May 21, 2006

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