Waiting For The Boys

"Why tell what hurts?
You carried it, my boy, so brave, so far."
                                --William Stafford

                                --for Don Emblen


After three years back east my son Benjamin's two sons
are arriving this evening, learning the land by train.
They are five and three years old.

There is the dark oil war off in the distance,
today I will not listen to the distance
growing smaller.

We have been cooking grains, baking bread, pies and cakes all day
for this evening.
For years.

A black friend has brought over most of her garden
for the dinner and there is this morning's catch
of salmon from Bodega Bay!

The evening is opening around us.
Benjamin has gone out for more firewood.
For now, there is enough light from my friend's voice.

Waiting for the boys to arrive,
two fathers are setting the simple wooden ancient table
before the fire breaking, the reflections from the table as from water.
After these three years I've never been more alive since the morning I


Father's Day, 2003
Eugene Ruggles