I always carried my emergency dime.
A phone call was 10 cents back then.
My dad would ask me if I had it on me.
It would be in a tiny purse or pocket,
in place of a penny in my loafer,
or chained to a belt loop in one of those plastic coin purses
that smelled so good I’d walk around with my nose in it.
My emergency dime had supernatural powers;
I could call from anywhere on the planet
and get my dad to come and rescue me.
That’s a lot of insurance for a thin dime.
Pagers and cell phones were unheard of then;
we precariously traveled the world
alone and unlinked, like true adventurers.
Only my lucky dime lay between me and misfortune.
Many times I was tempted to buy a giant gumball,
or a pack of wax pop bottles, Teaberry gum,
SweeTarts, or a roll of Life Savers,
but at the last second I’d change my mind;
some secret power made me keep my emergency dime.
Then I got older and it turned into an emergency quarter.
I always had one tucked away somewhere,
even though my father was dead and gone.
I can’t count the times I wanted to call him
when I was lost, alone, and downtrodden -
that would’ve been a lot of quarters.
But still, the thought that you once had a human
lucky charm, a get out of jail free card,
someone who’d claim you, no matter how far you wandered
or what kind of jam or pickle you were in,
and who was just a call away…
well, that’s something to write a poem about.

(c) 2008 Marissa Dodge

Views: 11

Tags: childhood, fathers, nostalgia, poems, tribute


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Comment by Marissa Dodge on June 3, 2008 at 2:24am
Jaijai, my friend, thank you for the beautiful way you are and the wonderful way you put things. Your comments really moved me and made me feel good. As it is in all things; when it comes from the heart it goes to the heart. It's always inspiring when that hope materializes - like your reaction and affirmations. Though it's a seemingly solo flight, we create to communicate.

It still amazes me that my father lives in my dreams and in my heart. I know it's exactly the same for you. Our dad's really were/are the axis of our universe. And I understand your feelings about God. There must be something there, and you're right, that feeling can't be replaced, duplicated, or appraised.

Thanks for always making my smile and heart glow and for making me feel connected and appreciated here. That's another priceless thing.

Love, frog song, & firefly light from the backwoods.
Comment by Jaijai Jackson on May 27, 2008 at 8:54am
Marissa, how does it feel when you put your pen to paper, knowing your spirit is nudged to write 'something' and the end result of that nudging touches someone's life in a way that brings back a ton of warming memories of a relationship that is physically no longer here but living inside your heart? You did that with me this morning, you gave me the sense of what it is like to know that you can always count on 'that special person' to be there for you, no matter what life throws at you. To me that feeling is like my relationship to God. You just KNOW He's always there and will always be no matter what adventure you ventured out on, knowing He's there spurns courage to do things that you normally wouldn't choose to do...cause you know you are always safe....there is no money in the world that could pay for that knowing...thank you for sharing your heart this day as you do everyday to all of us here in the Network as well as other places you travel.

Love you!


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