Treasure Island

Atara Gedalowitz

(January 31)

A Pilgrimage


Note: This poem is entirely a work of fiction.

Each year, on the 8th of June
I hum the same familiar tune
Through rain or shine, I find a way
To climb the mountain, where I play
The same ole song, I first heard there,
My father played with so much care,
I remember his stubble beard,
His scruffy look and how he feared,
Not one responsibility,
How he bounced me on his knee,
He didn’t mind that his nose was bent,
He cared more how his days were spent,
His eyes were brown, soft, and fine,
Extremely similar to mine,
But his had no worry, no inner dread,
That none would remember him, when he was dead,
I fear mine do - I don’t have conviction,
That my life is more than just a fiction,
I wish I had more than just his looks,
Perhaps his courage or love of books,
I try to copy, what I recall,
Yet far too often and I tend to fall,
But on that summer day, I climb,
And I feel closer to his paradigm,
I dress as he did, with boots and a hat
I sit; legs crossed, just where he sat,
Each time the strings are a little more worn,
Each time my boots slightly more torn,
And yet the song gains strength and spirit,
It takes on new meaning each time I hear it,
How can this be, if it stays the same?
I would guess that I’m to blame,
I let my life seep through the chords,
I think of lyrics where there aren’t words,
Look at my present and my past,
Mix in emotion, play slow and fast.

I wonder if there’s anyone,
Who when times passes and I’m gone,
Will sense I was more than a clerk,
Reflect on the smile I wore at work,
Will someone know I climbed with heart,
Or that I wanted to be a bigger part,
Of humanity, of all that’s good,
I wanted to do more than I could.

The melody floats in the air
Reminding me I have to care
I can’t give up, I can’t lose hope
My Dad wouldn’t want me to mope
What hasn’t happened isn’t set
And so it’s possible, I might yet,
Find connection to this world
Before from its presence I am hurled
This music lifts my troubled soul
Give me purpose and a goal,
I thank my Dad for this tradition,
And each occasion’s fresh addition,
Of why to travel, of why to strum,
And so each year, in June, I hum.

Submitted: Sunday, June 06, 2010

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