I wrote this two years ago today in memory of a dear family friend. I didn’t know him well, but he kept company with my parents and their large group of friends who are actually more like family. They are good people. He was good people.
To clarify, the end of this poem describes a weekend that we share with this extended family – have shared for more than 35 years. It deserves its own post or several on another day. Stay tuned.
Livin’ the Rhythm: In memory of Jim “Rags” Hanratty
Life moves in rhythm.
The hit the alarm one, two, three times, shower, get dressed and drive to work rhythm.
The check the phone, the email, the text, and respond with the answer canned rhythm.
The live by the seasons, parties, traditions, and watchin’ the sky for the next rain rhythm.
Life keeps time with the hours, days, weeks.
A ho-hum-drum livin’ rhythm.
Then there’s a blip, a record jumps, a CD skips
XM Radio loses its signal
And the rhythm we’re livin’ stops . . .
Left in the quiet to contemplate the wrongs and the rights of the rhythm we’re livin’.
When I thought of him that day, did I drop a line? Did I make the call?
Did I say, “how’s things?” and accept the answer “fine?”
Although our eyes are red with the tears, and the fatigue of the grief, and our minds are screamin’ to stop reminiscin’; we wake the next morning to the same old rhythm.
Livin’ for that one August weekend, when the rhythm slows down, speeds up and flips. When we pick up from one year, two years, thirty-five years ago and find comfort in a life that was our rhythm.
The arrivin’ late Fridays, pitchin’ tents and pumpin’ mattress rhythm.
The jump in the pool, grab a beer and friend, snooze in the hammock, wander to the creek rhythm.
The volleyballin’, soccer kickin’, bocci-ball rollin’, bean bag tossin’ rhythm.
The pork chop grillin’, corn boilin’, wine-flowin’, toast-makin’ rhythm.
The campfire under God’s great dome, s’more makin’, song-singin’, sleepin’ on the straw rhythm.
The early mornin’ wake-up, dew-drippin’ shuffle to the bloody mary, starbuck table rhythm.
The “hey, where’s Jim?” “he left with the sun rise” rhythm.
Life moves in rhythm.
Keep livin’ the rhythm.
Written by Katie (Dallam) Pratt
May 29, 2011