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Finding Dad

By Carrie Michael

Dad built a wooden box with a peaked roof
Complete with shingles and fresh paint
And hung it on a gnarled old tree by the north-flowing river.

A statue of St. Francis lives in this box
Meant to protect the precious animals who
Frequent the property
As well as those humans who dwell there.

Squirrels and birds perch themselves
On the peaked roof
Nibbling on morsels of seed and bread
My mother and father gladly give them
Their tails flicking and resting on their backs
To protect them from the cold winter.

Looking at St. Francis’ statue reminds me
Of Dad praying to Saint Anthony
When he misplaced something he needed
And like a miracle
That object would soon be found
Always, a promised donation would be placed in the basket at church
The following Sunday.

It has been a week since we said goodbye to my father
As he slipped from the fury of life on earth
Into the glory of God’s kingdom
And I am still numb in disbelief
Often sitting in his chair and hoping to feel his arms about me once again
Or watching for him to come ambling upstairs and into their bedroom for the

So I ask St. Anthony to find Dad for me
To send him back to me for I have misplaced him and I need him
And there is a small whisper in my thoughts
Telling me that he is now all around me
In the beauty of all living things on earth
In the scent of flowers that now fills this house
And the Cardinal who perches on the peaked roof of the little wooden box
That Dad once hung on a gnarled tree by the north-flowing river.

In loving memory of

Leo F. Michael

October 27, 1926 - February 7, 2001


Copyright©2001 Carrie Michael