Hour 3 — Stale Dreams

In the forest by Silvercreek lake
My old man has a log cabin

Growing up, we have always known about it
Every other year, for a few days, he would be gone
With his friends, fishing, and what not
“Gone fishing, yessir,” mother would drawl at the dinner table
Like it was supposed to be funny
in an observational sort of way

I thought it was a nice excuse to get away from it all
The cares of a family man, the city life, the stress, taxes
For a few days every year, if you can make it, otherwise,
“There’s always next year,” he’d be placating over the phone
To us he’d say, “Hey, maybe we guys could go one day,”
“A proper family vacation,” he’d try to sell us his second-hand dreams,
“Nothing like a fishing trip to cure the blues, do you a bunch of good.”
Mother would laugh rhetorically from the kitchen
Banging the pots and pans
to make up for the words left unsaid

All that was before the great cancer got to him
In a couple of years he transformed into a wraith
As if under the spell of an evil sorcerer
He died, I went to college, brother went to war
Dad’s tackle lay in the shadowy attic
A prop for intricate spider webs

As for the log cabin, I never really got to see it
After brother came back, mom got sick
with unpronounceable afflictions
Medical euphemisms for old age
Brother started his own business
Tactical multi-tasking between
The logistics of refrigerated trucks and
Taking care of mother

Couple of years back, I too got married
Have a hyperenergetic kid now
Things around the house perpetually seem to be
in varying stages of destruction
Off late, though, I have been thinking
About the log cabin by Silvercreek lake

Maybe, one of these days, I’ll take the family along
Or alone, perhaps
Would be good if some of the guys from college
could come along…
There’d be fishing and beer
And the shared sense of nostalgia
Which comes from getting away from yourself

One of these days, let’s see…

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