Will you see me in the lick of flames, in the center of the mandala of brick? I wonder if you’ll burn one of the Christmas tree’s I gathered, in celebration of my love for the return of the sun? Will the short burst of flame into the sky pass as me? Will you hook up a blower to the vents, and drink to me in the make of a white hot flame?
Who is there to mow, sweep, mop, and lay the table settings? Is there enough ice in the coolers? I wonder if that person will be there at the end of the flames, to poke and prod the coals to black. I hope the chairs get moved back in honor of me missing it, and the shovel comes out, to throw a cloud of the party’s finish into the sky.
I wonder if you choose to see me in the arch of the arbor, and the path of rocks laid down? Do you look at the sprinklers popping up, and visualize a fountain that is me, in the rainbow curtain of water flying out? I have left my art behind to represent me, and I hope it’s good enough.
The celebration is for a man. He taught me to dig, to plant, to break, to fix, and to make. He taught me how to love to sweat for free with bleeding hands. It seems fitting that I’m not there. The infrastructure left behind in the wake of my makes, is his to own and relish. Its a party I’m missing, because as I write this, my tears are billowing on the edge of my lids.
I can’t contain my gratitude for him, in a smile. I think of him when my gloves go on, because he would grunt at me impatiently, and use bare hands in muck to get it done. When my back hurts from lifting rocks, and the truck sways while braking from a load that overflows, I blame his style in me.
When I’m wearing clothes that are torn and sullied with things I had forgotten were there, he comes out in the eyes of other people judging me, and I grimace in the stench of it. When the sound of my truck makes people stare, I know I’m learning his lessons again.
If my knuckles are bleeding, and my hands become one with the tool in a cramp, I pound harder with satisfaction that my body is giving out, because he taught me how. You can’t buy what he is in a store, as work into play isn’t for sale. A good friend of mine said, “It’s better to wear out than to rust out”, and he is wearing out.
He’ll read this and know that his party is a thousand miles long, in me. As the stars shine into the light of day tomorrow, I’ll be watching over the people without homes in a church, so they can sleep in a dream come true. Shine on.