When I Picture My Father

-written with love by Jenni

Bill+Chindlund%2C+the+poet%27s+father
Back to Article
Back to Article

When I Picture My Father

Bill Chindlund, the poet's father

Bill Chindlund, the poet's father

Bill Chindlund, the poet's father

Bill Chindlund, the poet's father

Jennifer Hartwig, Teacher-Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When I picture my father,

I picture a truck,

My father stepping up and climbing in,

Ready to head to the field or to deliver grain to the elevator,

Or proudly opening the door for his satisfied customer to take the wheel.

 

When I picture my father, 

I picture a tractor, 

My father perched atop,

Confident and comfortable like it’s his recliner, 

But alert with anticipation of all that’s before him.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a machine shed,

My father lying inside beneath a refurbished truck,

Just the legs of his grease-stained overalls sticking out from underneath,

Or scurrying around from toolbox to trailer.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a farm,

My father preparing, planting, harvesting,

Driving his pickup, tractor, or truck from field to field,

Checking the bins, power-washing the machinery, working up a sweat.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a kitchen,

My father leaning back with his feet crossed on a chair,

Reading the newspaper in his underwear and “holy” shirt,

Not his Sunday shirt, but one of many t-shirts riddled with welding holes.

 

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a recliner,

My father resting from the day’s hard work,

Relaxing with a magazine about farming,

Or enjoying Lawrence Welk, The Waltons, or RFD-TV.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a church,

My father sitting at the end of the pew,

His family lining the seats to his left,

His friends filling the seats all around.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a family,

My father talking, telling a joke, repeating his Bill-isms,

Always sharing a story about one of the other kids,

Always happy that his quiver is full.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a table,

My father controlling his life through the consistency of food, 

Or sharing yet another joke with the table mates around him,

Or reveling in one of his two favorite pies: hot and cold.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture my mom,

My father reaping the love and service of his dedicated bride,

Living faithfully with her for 70 years,

Growing in his appreciation for her love more and more each year.

 

When I picture my father,

I picture a blessing,

My father living out for me the importance of hard work and consistency,

Exhibiting for me how I should and should not live,

Confirming for me that the Lord has blessed me all my days.