Dad, when did you learn the name of Odin
Whose name you would cry as we roared across
The Sound in your motorboat, salt-spray
Foaming on you red hair and freckled face
As you harnessed the power of the sea
To fly? Odin: Norse god of poetry,
War, wisdom; solitary wanderer
Through the cosmos, restlessly searching.
Did you call “Odin!” on landlocked Sundays
As you walked the dog through spindly birch,
Sea deep in memory of island pastures
Returned to wild spaces where you imagined
The fierce greatness of a wild All-Father,
The might and mystery of the sea, without apology.
In Memory of George O. Carlson