Winter 2013 - THE POTOMAC

Raising the Dead

   Gordon Crock

It was spring
that moved me
to pick up an old journal
from three years past,
to check for the date
of that spring’s first crocus, first jonquil,
first bloodroot
that shook off winter,
and pushed through last year’s leaves,
butĀ found instead
notes of an interview with my father,
dead now two years this month,
stories from the War,
a few sentences
of a jeep stuck axle deep
in a rice paddy—
my father alone,
then surrounded by South Koreans,
speaking in a strange tongue,
who surprise him,
lay on dozens of hands
that lift the jeep above the mud,
like an automotive Assumption,
its four wheels dangling,
suspended in space.

My father was grateful, I’m sure,
as I am this March
for memories and mandrakes
and anything else that
finds the will or blessing
to lift itself from the mud
to somewhere in the forgiving air.


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