My father used to swim the sound

I don’t know what that means, the sound

Since if ever I had seen it

I was two

But he swam it, and I guess

That was a distance

Puget Sound

He was the only engineer not to work

At Boeing

He chose the aluminum company instead

That sent him to Pittsburgh finally

Where the children finished growing up

That was fine

I like Pittsburgh


Anyway, to Puget Sound

And boats and ships and sails and I’m

Sure great engines

A life outside

I’ve had some of that, though

I did not wear an open shirt and a

Fedora on my head (yes, like Indiana Jones), stood

By the campfire, near which

Strings of fish were bound to sticks

And lines

Close by all the gear and even some guns

For pheasants and frankly

For rattlesnakes

These are the photographs and

The stories


How was he formed

And what did he leave?

And why do I have Northwest

Roots I do not know


At two, I picked blueberries for my


A memory I fight for

To conjure

To keep


C L Couch