Editor’s note:  Author/poet/recently retired teacher-writing instructor David Feela is a regular contributor to Telluride Inside… and Out. His latest book, “How Delicate These Arches: Footnotes from the Four Corners,” a collection of essays, is available at Between the Covers Bookstore and is up for a Colorado Book Award. The following poem, a penetratingly beautiful tribute to his deceased father for Fathers’ Day, is from his “The Home Atlas.”


When I was skiing
on the frozen Mississippi
my father was swimming beside
the wide-eyed fishes
beneath my feet,
watching my steps
as they carried me past
a dormant moonlit farm
with an amber bulb
burning above
an open, broken porch.
The river bends with
arthritic joints in winter
but the power below
the frozen surface
is always there:
ice that lights
a thousand cities.
I cannot see him,
or hear him
but I know he is swimming,
tracing my tracks,
trying to understand
this midnight journey.

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