"Planting of Trees"
While the six men were playing a New Brunswick version of poker, Big Mike, father of two of the men who had journeyed six hundred miles to visit him after his release from the hospital, sang a song semi-created by a young fellow patient. The words told of traveling through life in a cobalt treatment machine named "Cannonball Express" that released its electrons into the malignant cancer attempting to kill it before it could devour life.
"Dad! Dad - you're looking much better!" Galvin his youngest son said.
"Looking and being are two different animals, Hon," Big Mike said liking the pity he was being bathed in up to his eyeballs.
"Gee Dad, don't talk that way!" Monte his older son said getting up in a fitful rush to go out and cry on the deck where "Bear Dog" came to stand under the thirty year old's patting hand and he whispered to the big dog that he would keep his promise he had made their first day to his father that he would plant the six trees by the barn ....
"No need in planting those trees. I'll do them tomorrow so you guys don't get caught up in the Queen's Day Holiday traffic," Big Mike said the morning they were to leave after having spent five days of fishing, gambling, drinking, fishing, drinking, gambling, drinking ....
"No Dad! I'll do her now!" Monte said beginning to walk in circles.
"That's OK , Hon. They can wait," he said looking out the window as if for the dawn.
Johnny, (Mr. S.) teacher of all Big Mike's children who had come up with the boys as their guest and had really enjoyed himself among these down to earth people nearly out-drinking, out-playing and out-cursing most of them, marveled how the little boy, father of the man, never left one - as one of the great poets said - and as they left waving to all the people waving back enveloped in a Canadian sunrise, Johnny thought to himself: Damn, we should have planted those trees the very first day and then he recalled his own father's death six years earlier and the willow tree his father had planted for him that he had climbed to the sky during all of his childhood .... ry here