• Lane Welkin

About the Work of Douglas Wiltraut

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

We visited family each summer at the lake in the woods.

It was here I learned the tricks to finding marbles in the sand

and catching a butterfly without breaking her wings.

But what I remember most were the heroes

and the tales they told as we sat around tins

filled with beer and food from the fire.

Every story of loss was historic,

every marriage born of love,

and we were the promise of the future.

The trees we climbed and the stones we sat on have been placed in museums visited now only in kindred conversation.

These museums stop the Sun on tales we heard

and relics we touched:

a doorknob that burns because it was left ajar just so,

cracking paint on the base of grandma's rocking chair,

or dried sweat on the brow of children who rest before dinner.

We were the children

who loved the heroes

who blocked staler corners of the room and the cool side of barn.

We were the sun

that showed the wrinkles

and warmed the history we mustn’t lose.

The heroes, the history, the mystery of time,

it must be kept-

For wings and leather crack,

and the world mourns the death of singers.

But heroes preserve our purpose

and give pause for the Sun

who has wearied of the passage he treads.