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In memory of Chuck Pierson

 

By Patricia Wentzel

Johnsville Grade

In memory of Chuck Pierson

The brothers were in agreement
80 pounds should be enough
smoked overnight
monitored by the youngest and the oldest
to chase away the bear if he showed up
80 pounds of pulled pork would be enough
to feed the throng expected

It would be a celebration of a life lived well
the final hurrah for a fisherman of local fame
he had planned to teach Woody to catch
the killer Mackinaw in Buck’s Lake
but time ran out
had helped the nieces, eight and ten, each catch one
a picture of them clutching their outsized fish
hangs on the wall in the den

He had been an easy man to work with
mild-mannered like Clark Kent
he was steady
even when driving the snow plow down Johnsville Grade
horizontal white blur the only thing to be seen out the window
his worry only betrayed by his white knuckled hands on the wheel

He was a man who knew his way around a barbeque and a smoker
careful seasoning, attention to the coals or the flame
the things that made his ribs memorable
that guaranteed his salmon was flavorful, flaky
he would stand there, smiling in his beard
tongs in his hand, a beer nearby
poster boy for contentment

His sister always knew what to get him for the holidays
a gift card to Cabello’s
or a box of handwarmers
for the days he spent crouched in a hunting blind
although the one year she broke with tradition
sent him a fancy barbeque apron
he seemed surprised, genuinely pleased when he called to thank her

There would be no money wasted on flowers
his celebration held at the park
outdoors, the only choice really
too much food, fishing buddies, work pals
running children, chatty elders
one woman with a walker
cousins from the coast, a niece from the city
would all gather on a sunny May afternoon
the only thing missing –
him.

5 thoughts on “In memory of Chuck Pierson

  • Beautifully communicated!

  • He is certainly missed. Beautifully written!!

  • A great tribute to a great man.

  • Fred I agree 100%. So many friends and family in attendance

  • Great poem!

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