Spinning Reels of Life, a poem by Mark Tulin at Spillwords.com
Jeremy Yap

Spinning Reels of Life

Spinning Reels of Life

written by: Mark Tulin



After my father died,
we watched home movies
to feel like a family again.

We watched them
on a white pull-up screen
with my mother on the couch,
and me on the Dad’s
old recliner.

The time I escaped
the playpen
and waddled out the door
in nothing but a dirty diaper
and a pacifier in my mouth.

I ran from the waves
at the Jersey Shore;
a toddler with a bloated belly
and Fred Flintstone feet
making tracks in the sand.

The time I slid into third base
on a bang-bang play,
and argued with the ump
that I was safe–
My anger caught on celluloid.

Dad held the camera
as I slid down a hill
on a red Flexible Flyer.
I smiled back at him
with a frost-bitten glow.

On a summer day in Pottsville,
Grandpa put me on the hood
of a 1957 Ford pick-up
like I was his prized watermelon
at the County Fair.

I remember the sound
of home movies,
spinning reels of life,
smokey smells of family,
unedited, like our lives
in a room with open Pepsi bottles,
and slices of cheese and cold cuts.

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