Song for Papa
In memory of my father-in-law
by Janet Brice Parker

The windchimes outside my studio sound like distant church bells. Their tones are low and pleasing to my ears. A rushing waterfall nearby rolls over the chimes and reaches up to birds singing in the trees. Music created beyond the screened door. Papa made the windchimes. He crafted them from scraps he found at the factory. Chimes that were created from noisy, clanging metal against metal became soothing, healing melodies. Papa was handsome with his shock of white hair and tanned skin. He spent weekends planting and working his garden. Delicious, lush results were appreciated by every member of the family. Colorful rewards which were more than just food. They were his gifts to us. This father-in-law of mine was not in my life for many years. Not nearly long enough. I felt as though I was just getting to know him, to feel comfortable in asking his assistance. His delight was to be needed. I was learning to enter into conversation with this quiet, yet witty man. His life taught me not to wait too long. Not to wait until I'm unafraid to reach out. I miss him. There is a vacant seat when Big Band music entertains us on summer evenings in the park. But my husband's smile is the same as his father's and his feet tap to the music of Papa's era. And the windchimes are playful on the breeze.


Author Biography
Janet Brice Parker. BFA, University of Alabama. Professional artist for thirty five years. Amateur writer. Poetry and short stories published in Jimmy Buffett's COCONUT TELEGRAPH, Key West Florida, LUCIDITY, Houston, Texas, Trouvere company WRITER'S GAZETTE NEWSLETTER, BLOUNT COUNTIAN NEWSPAPER. Wife, mother of two married sons, Christian, Involved in the lives and spiritual growth of numerous black children.

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