My dad, God bless him, some thought was weird,
and not because he chewed tobacco and ….. had a beard.
But unlike some dads who leave raising kids up to "Mom",
Dad parented gently, though he could be stern (while calm) .
One summer Sunday when I was four, I went outside to play.
[We had a fenced in yard, near San Francisco Bay.]
I had on brown shoes ……, which my dad had tied.
[I never could get the knots right, no matter how I tried! ]
My older sister was playing hopscotch….. on our concrete walk.
She'd never let me play the game with her; always she would balk.
But maybe ‘cause I'd just turned four, she said "Go ahead and try".
I got to number three, but landed on an ant; I began to cry.
Sis started laughing and then she called me "a Big Crybaby".
[I've always been sensitive around "Death", but "Crybaby"! ? ….. MAYBE.]
I removed the ant-killing shoe; knots I could UNdo.
On its bottom I found the ant, dead, and stuck like gum or glue.
I cried even louder, and ‘she' said "It's ONLY an ANT! "
I ran inside and upstairs to Dad, so fast that I began to pant.
"Daddy" I cried between my sobs, "I squished and ant! See? ! "
He viewed the corpse, then calmly said "Let's bury it under a tree".
My sister had come inside to see what had transpired.
She took a look at my shoe and saw the ant (expired) .
Then Dad said to her "Would you help us lay the ant to rest? "
[Dad had lots of great ideas, growing up; that was one... of his best.]
Sis started to say "No", but I think Dad gave her a "look".
So she helped us find an envelope and, in it, the ant, we took ….
to our backyard and Sis helped me pick out a tree.
A garden shovel was brought by Dad, and I got down on one knee.
Sis (with Dad's help) dug a shallow grave; it wasn't very big.
Then with two rubber bands I made a cross with a broken twig.
I said "I'm sorry, Ant, that I squished you. Please don't be mad."
Then I glanced at my sister who almost (but not quite) looked sad.
I placed the envelope in the hole, and covered it with some dirt.
Then Dad said a few words about ants and such, to make me feel less hurt.
(February 19, 2015)
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem