I visit the places from the wonder years —
around the streets and drives of my past.
Down the walks around blocks once journeyed.
Somewhere in time, they still last.
A bit older and a bit wiser —
I long for the days with Dad.
He lived in the heart of the city,
and now I see why he had.
Peaceful and quiet neighborhoods, little serene hideaways,
and a thousand trees above.
He couldn’t fight on any longer with her,
so he surrounded himself with love.
I now ride my bike through these places
that I would visit when
he and my mother had called it quits;
doing what was best for them.
I pass the temporary structures
where my father would place his things.
I sometimes wonder why I find peace here…
Is it because of the emotions that it brings?
Do I somehow demand a second chance
at life when I was young?
Do I try to make the things of the past
my security that never did come?
I stop to take a breather
and write about this personal season,
under a tree he used to sit beneath,
in another time, with different reason.
The rustling leaves are falling today,
and the sky is crisp with cloud.
I sit here reminiscing with a man who’s now gone,
wondering how his voice still speaks so loud.
There is something about this area
that takes me back to a time
when innocence was a virtue
and the same streets were so divine.
I hated life for so many years —
I hated my dad as well.
The picturesque views lost their luster,
and all life was consumed by hell.
But I grew old and he grew older,
and when he passed away,
I realized that the past was a lesson
to hold in current day.
I had forgotten all of the pain he’d caused me —
I saw the sin I have, too.
It made me realize how blessed I had been
under those same past skies of blue.
I thank God for what you showed me, Dad,
and I praise the Lord for spaces here
in the heart of the city we lived in —
where memories and exultation appear.