When we built the Jones cabin
up Lavezolla Creek, summer,
Sierra Nevada, we left home
in the loaded pickup and worked
ten-hour days. The droning drive
in the '69 Ford F-100
took an hour one way.
The Old Man was nearing 60 years
then. At noon he'd take a cat-nap
on the plywood sub-floor, his silver
lunch-bucket the pillow, his hat
over his eyes. Snored. I remember
something like pity arising in me.
Now I'm sixty, the Old Man's been dead
a long time, and I ended up with
the green Ford pickup, which people
think is "cool." The recall
of bright summer, big conifers,
the quick creek, and work to make
you bone tired seems now like
something that will disappear soon,
like a butterfly or pine-pollen
floating in lustrous air. These tributary
memories that shape our maps
of ourselves disappear as we do.
No one will remember that the Old Man
and I were the crew.
hans ostrom 2014