Today would have been my father’s one-hundredth birthday. I live in those woods where he used to hunt. His tools have become my tools and I use them daily. His machinist chest still smells of stale coffee and Camels and holds my pastels and watercolors. On a chilly day I throw his worn flannel shirt over my shoulders.
At the southwest corner of the property an immense pine tree rises above all the others. In the ways of ancient white pines, it is gnarled and weeviled and many-armed and has survived ice-storms and numerous loggings. My father always called it “David.” I have no idea why. Each time I leave my driveway I see David, and he is waiting for me when I return home.
So here’s to you, Dad. I won’t visit your grave in the Veterans’ Cemetery. There will be no flowers. But I will throw a stick for the dog and I will nod to David and smile.
Causes Mara Buck Supports
Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Amnesty International