Now is the time we think of our fathers. I hope you knew your father and have had a long association with him. It is hard to think of a gift for Father’s Day when they have given so much to us. (FTC Note: I may get a small commission from the above link to Amazon. Thank you!)
John Taylor Jones
I can see him above the waters edge
Catching the cutthroat trout
That My Brother and I
Were pulling from the Yellowstone River,
Below Fishing Bridge.
I can see him working
Around the house,
Wearing my Ike jacket
Left over from the Korean War.
My ribbons and battle stars and
My precious combat infantryman’s badge
Probably put away for safekeeping.
Dad was a ranch kid and
Liked to work outdoors.
I can remember him
Pounding on his old Underwood typewriter
Out in the garage,
Whipping out a short story or complicated poem.
I remember him giving me a quarter,
When he sold my Oldsmobile,
On blocks in the garage,
To the neighbor boys for five dollars.
I had a fortune!
I can remember him on the telephone
Talking to people who were out of work,
Helping them to find a job.
He had been helped himself by others
During the Great Depression.
He had worked on the WPA
As an accountant.
Before my time,
He farmed in Bountiful, Utah
And ranched in Rich County, Utah,
(Named after my great greatuncle, Charles Rich).
He and his father homesteaded
On Ten Mile Pass in Idaho
And then, Delta, Utah.
Dad was a hopeless romantic,
Never saying one unkind word
To our mother.
I remember him calling
Us around the dinner table and
Kneeling us down in family prayer.
I remember how excited
He would get before Christmas.
If I was getting a present,
He always had to
Tell me about it before
That always sent me on a hunt
Thoughout the house,
Hoping to get a glimpse
Of my new toy carbine rifle
Dad was the consummate politician,
Soon realizing that it was more important
To know influential people
Than to have particular skills.
It was County Commissioner
And City Auditor,
The position from which he retired.
He had a County Sheriff’s badge
And a revolver
That he carried on vacation trips,
The badge coming in handy
If he was caught speeding,
Which he did.
Dad was a died-in-the-wool Mormon,
His grandfather Porter being born
On the Sweetwater River
in 1847, whose grandmother Rich
Was the first white woman
To die in Utah.
He was kidnapped by Ute Indians
Ten days after his birth in 1900.
So then, he was a Ute.
The Mormon elders
Were able to buy him back
After long negotiations,
Never a Ute Chief.
Like a baby
When he died.
End of Poem
copyright©2015 John Taylor Jones, Ph.D.