Sunday, May 17, 2015

the apple that is I

the tree of my father

I feel I am an apple,
and I can only imagine
how true to the tree of my father I am,

like any son I want to model myself rightly,
and the father is the touchstone,
either as a model to follow
or the model not to follow,

I have long sought to be real with words and touch, to my sons,
and I feel the absence in my memory of my father like that,
for we were at odds in my early teens,
and just then he died,

just when I was sure in my ignorance of him,
I hear of  “Mr. Walker’s Club,”
a group of junior high boys
we would now call “at risk,”
and that he proactively gathered together
to fight their dissolution 
into the lowest common denominator,

and then, this year, 
at the wake of my 100 year old uncle,
one of my father’s former students
told of Daddy’s greeting each student
at the door of the junior high school every morning,
and he would hug them,
over 50 years later she still feels 
the unconditional love in that hug,

when I connect well with my middle school students,
it feels right, even though I know I didn’t invent this wheel,

and I love the idea that, if I do well as a teacher,
I am an apple that the tree of my father would own.

by Henry H. Walker
May 15, ‘15

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are not only an "apple of the tree your father would own"; you are a son of which your father would be most proud and whom he would love unconditionally!

I knew John and feel comfortable making this declaration!

Love, Ruthie (cousin)