H.D. Whatley

Rookie (Alexandria, LA)

Daytona Dad - Poem by H.D. Whatley

We drove the old Ford wagon across the gulf states of the South
from Louisiana all the way to the sunshine state of Florida.
We stayed with my aunt and uncle on their farm in Lake Helen
with orange groves and lots of room to roam.
I played with their collie dog in the pond
and rode a horse for the very first time.

We went on down to a place called Marineland
where I saw the dolphins jump through hoops.
Then on to Disney World in wet and rainy Orlando
where we went to 20,000 leagues under the sea.
We took a ride in a glass-bottomed boat on a river
where the monkeys jumped on board to greet us.

Then on to Daytona Beach for the day
where Dad was stationed during the war.
The army mechanics would soup up their jeeps
and Dad and his buddies would race them at night.
He was only a nineteen year old boy then
but now he’s dead and gone and I miss him so.

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Inspired by a trip to Florida in 1974 with my father.

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Originally published in Heavy Hands Ink

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poem Edited: Monday, April 29, 2013


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