Tuesday, April 22, 2008

*The Security System

Since my last post was a poem that reminded me about my father, I thought today I'd post a poem I wrote that ended up being about my father. Here it is:

The Security System
by me

The smell of the air just before the rain,
As the thunder gently rolls in the Jersey background,
Is the smell of my father when I was a kid.
He would lift open the wooden garage door and
Set up folding chairs.
As the thunder came closer and the rain fell, suddenly heavy,
That smell would get so strong that it was hardly noticeable
Sometimes he would click on the little radio and find a random station,
And in those moments, it seemed like the stations knew
The importance of the occasion, and they
Forgot all about DJs and commercials,
And played nothing but classic background favorites that made the rain
Sound that much more musical.
And when the breeze became a wind, and the wind became strong, that smell flooded the garage,
And the rain knew it was time to slow, to trickle, to stop.
A car would come down the narrow street and the tires on the wet road
Made a wet sound, and soon enough,
The smell was gone.

While my dad reached overhead to shut the garage door, I would fold the chairs and carry them,
One at a time (because that’s all my little arms could carry),
Back to their leaning spot against the opposite wall.
There was an old ten speed bike that never had air in the tires
--And seemed to me to be nothing but a gross home for spider webs--
That my dad would use as a security system.
He would lean the handle of the bike over the top of the metal bracket
Of the door and then take a rotten wood block and jam it from the top of the door to a nail he had long ago hammered into the ceiling.
There was no actual lock on the door,
But my father made do.
That was him:
That lock, that garage, that smell.
I love that smell.

I wrote this about a year ago because I had recently read a number of poems about rain, and one day decided to think about that smell. This is what came out. It's simple narrative poetry, lacking any rhyme or meter-- I like to say that's because rhyme and meter don't fit the poem, but it's probably because I'm not very good at those things.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yesterday or two days ago i smelled rain and i thought of this poem! good to read it again.