Tonopah Review   Leave a comment

A campfire

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http://www.tonopahreview.org/one-of-the-boys.html

In 2009, the Tonopah Review published one of my favorite poems I’ve ever written, called “One of the Boys”.  Full disclosure, I am not an orphan, I do have two older half brothers, but they didn’t raise me, in fact I didn’t even meet them until I was 12.  And I didn’t write this for them, though I love both of them dearly.

No, this poem was written after a long weekend away with writer friends, out in the woods of the Catskill Mountains. One thing you may not know about me, I build a darn good fire.  On the last night out, I built a large bonfire from wood carried in from the surrounding forest by three of the gentlemen on the trip. One of them, walking up behind me as I nudged some seasoned branches into place, told me it was “a damn good fire.” I don’t think I’ve ever received a nicer compliment.

Many times on camping trips in groups, there seems to be a gender gap, wherein the men do some jobs, the women do others. Typically, it’s an unwritten rule that the men build the fire, although our ancestors I’m sure would disagree with this. Even in the back yard, it’s the men who rule the grill, play with fire, take the risks, while the ladies spoon the potato salad. So, I knew the compliment was solid, and hard won.

The next day, before heading home to my kids, I wrote the beginnings of this poem, dedicated to Colin, Scott, and in memory of Glenn.

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