20080317

All That Remains

by Stephen Book

Though embattled with age — its autumn leaves blown away, its gnarled coat threadbare and frayed with a thousand empty branches — the Oak stands in the backyard like a seasoned and faithful companion. In 1968, Dad planted it the month I was born, marking time even though the tree was already seven years old. During the summer of 1977, my best pal Charlie and I, along with a half dozen of our friends, ran from my dad toward the tree, screaming as we found safety at the "base." 1978 came, and Dad built a fort upon the branches of the tree; and then we climbed inside, with only our sleeping bags and a couple of Daisy pellet guns, to see the world as Davy Crockett might have seen it, gritting our teeth as Santa Anna unleashed his brutal force upon the never-say-die men of the Alamo. Four years later, I discovered that Dad had seen me and Sandy Kirshman (something I thought was my own little secret) when I found the place in the trunk where he carved: JD & SK, First Kiss, 1984. Dad is gone now; but at least I still have the old tree, and with it all that remains.

6S

Stephen Book is a CPA, working in corporate America while carving out any time he can to build a writing career. He currently lives in Texas.

11 comments:

guileless said...

this was a lovely tribute to dad and the tree. a pity each sentence was long and broken up into sections, with semicolons as an excuse to pause. but with only six periods to play with, i understand the limitations. still, good work! a mini-story all in itself. thanks!

Leatherdykeuk said...

A beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing the memory.

Greta said...

So many tender moments. I can feel the quiet affection between father and son. Nicely done.

Joe said...

An excellent six through and through. Great job. Keep writing!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute to a father's love and the shaping memories of childhood. Thanks for sharing.

dan said...

excellent.

Linda said...

Ah Stephen... super sentiment here. Lovely, just lovely. Peace, friend...

Libby said...

Beautiful, loveing tribute.

Loved it darlin'!

Ian said...

Wow, nice six - almost enough there for a novel! ;-)

Madam Z said...

May the old tree live forever, holding precious memories in its boughs. Your words moved me in a special way, Stephen, as I have a special tree that reminds me of my daddy, too.

Stephen said...

A big "Thank You" to everyone for the thoughtful words. I appreciate all the comments.