Writing comes naturally. I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I still have some of those first "stories" in a box in my garage. I wrote for my school newspapers in jr high and at high school. One of my first jobs after graduation = I worked for the Eugene Register Guard. My first English classes at Lane Community College gave me a solid foundation and fueled my passion and I'm still writing today.
Having my poem included in the 2019 Poetry Marathon Anthology means more than words can relay. Having the poem as the first in the collection, well, THAT never happens if you grew up with Whitaker as your last name!!
The poem is about my dad, he passed away in 2018, August of 2018 to be exact, and I do miss him. Like when I automatically pick up the phone after a Duck game. Like when I see a big herd of deer. Like when I"m cooking salmon. Like when I'm reading something interesting. Like when I am driving and I suddenly remember all the times we cleaned the fish cooler only to put pop and sandwiches in it for a waterski run with the neighbor kids. He loved those quick waterski runs... back in the day we had maybe 10 kids in our station wagon at any given time. I think of him when I smell an old-fashioned pipe. I think about calling him when I see triples going down the interstate at break-neck speed. Mostly, I think about him when I have something to share about Tucker or Abbie. Or about hiking or hunting or camping or fishing.
The Wishon II is the name of my dad's last fishing boat. It sat dry docked next to his RV for years. More importantly, it sat tied at the dock in Winchester Bay for years and my kids and I would sleep on the deck snug in our sleeping bags, rocked back and forth, listening to the waves, watching the stars and no matter how clean everything was -- yup, we ended up smelling like fish.
The poem was written in a flash, with a little editing before it was published (after it was accepted) and I am thankful to Jennifer and to Caitlyn for making this dream a reality!