Last Father’s Day weekend, my whole family packed up and made a trip down to the Quad Cities where my sisters and I grew up. When my father passed away, my mother had decided to spread his ashes along the Mississippi. It had been a long time since we’d been back, and my mother was insistent on doing a proper visit and small memorial service along the river.
We ended up staying on the Iowa side which meant frequently crossing back and forth across the river over the weekend. The “Arsenal” Bridge (Government Bridge) was something I crossed many times growing up in the area. I remembered that the original structure was the first railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi. I also remembered the annoying delays when we’d get stuck in traffic due to a small section of the bridge that would turn to allow passage for barges.
But my young nephew, who loves trains, was fascinated by it. When he comes across interesting stuff, he’ll sometimes ask his mom to take pictures of it. While we were crossing over in the van he said he wanted photos of the bridge, but since we were scheduled to meet up with some friends, we didn’t have time to stop.
I’m sure he would have been happy with a snapshot on a phone, but I decided to turn it into a mini-project and went back later that day to capture some photos for him.
Two weekends ago I was driving to Des Moines, Iowa, and I shot this photo of a barn that is just off of I-80 in Illinois. I usually look for this particular barn whenever I’m on this highway. Needing to leave at around five in the morning to get there on time, I was finally able snap a photo of this barn in the perfect morning light. This barn has always stood out to me. I’ve passed it many times in my travels during my travels to and from the Quad Cities. It was a marker I would always look for – like the time I drove all night for a girl I thought I was in love with – to the drive I made to meet up with my sisters the night my father passed away. Most of my friends and family have now since moved out of town, but whenever I’m driving west and I pass that barn, I feel like I’m driving home.
As I sat outside the other day
I heard the sound of jets
But there were none to be seen
Which led me to believe that it was you
Making all that noise
Manipulating the currents of air
The tips of your feathers
Tearing an invisible rent in the sky
And it got me thinking on the
Properties of light
And its fickle personality
And I began to wonder if
Maybe light was really just a smaller
Bird than you
Knowing the brevity of life
In a rush to see the whole universe
And all we were really seeing
Was a cataclysmic after effect of
Of everything else
Trying to catch up to her