Here’s a poem to honor fathers and the lifelong influence they have on us. The late David Walker of Freedom writes of his attempt to reach his father, visible yet always in the distance. Walker’s work appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Review and New England Review, among others. He was born in Damariscotta, educated at Bowdoin College and studied at Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar. 

 

The Crossing

By David Walker

At the far edge of the field, just in the shade,

my father waves; the heat cuts us in two

as I walk towards him. The stubble bleeds

yellow, then nearly white; it crunches like snow.

 

Into the sun I stride, erect in my cause

and body straining towards the other side.

Hands on his hips, my father watches me cross

calmly. I am revolved in the season’s eye.

 

The sun leans in the distance, drawing a cloak

of pines slowly over its head; and still

he is waiting. Every year that I walk

his smile grows nearer. And I begin to smile.