Icons

I just listened to Miranda Lambert’s song, “Tin Man” and it reminded me how powerful it can be to take a cultural icon and use it to build a personal narrative or poem around. Some years back I heard Kathy Griffin’s song about Peter Pan and used that icon to craft my own poem about the flying young man who refused to grow up. (It’s here on my blog somewhere.)

Now it’s your turn. Icons are all around us—from the 1957 Chevy to Marilyn Monroe to Indian Summer. Let one speak to you. Close your eyes and write.

4 responses to “Icons

  1. I am happy to hear from you again, Ann. I was concerned.

  2. I’ve been exploring in the lands of the silver birch recently while summer turns to autumn, so I’m going to begin writing. I’ll add it here in early October.

  3. “This is my worst nightmare come true,” he says as I hold his right hand in both of mine.

    My heart is breaking, crying, aching, disbelieving, as
    I struggle to keep the words light.

    He is out of place here, I think. He does not even look like my friend of more than six decades as he lies in this hospital bed. Neither of us remembers where and when we first met and we discussed the possibilities often. I privately decided long ago that this friendship was preordained and it’s always been, so there.

    With our respective spouses, we had many adventures and comical misadventures. Of all the fine and upstanding people I know, he tops them all in character and ethics and goodness. He and his wife, my dear, dear friend, are loved by many. A hundred miles from this hospital, she is dealing with her own serious health issues, and I hope to see her tomorrow.

    I continue to hold his hand and I feel him holding onto mine, unwilling to turn loose. I can see he is in an uncomfortable position but he is unable to adjust the body that betrayed him while he was taking a walk through the forest that surrounds his home. And just like that, he was down, down on a pile of rocks, unable to make his hand reach his phone, unable to see the numbers even if his body would obey.

    Found by family, airlifted to this hospital in Anchorage, but No! Stop! Just a few months ago he was piloting his fishing boat around while commercial fishing.

    He looks so small, this man in his 80s, his chest so frail. I think back to when he was 55 and the lady entertainers on the Booze Cruise out of Kailua Kona selected him to join them in dancing on a table top. And I remember when the ladies stripped him of his tee shirt and even they, so used to buff surfer bodies, were impressed with this outdoorsman’s six pack abs and muscled shoulders.

    His eldest daughter helps him into a more comfortable position and our hands part, but not for long.

    Eventually, I leave the hospital. I take with me his words spoken when I arrived: “This is my worst nightmare come true, lying helpless in bed, people taking care of me. I always thought I’d end up in a pile of bear poop.”

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