LOGGERS AT SUNRISE
When I first saw this I got a lump in my throat
because that’s my dad’s spitting image.
The guy in the green hard hat: that’s my dad.
A little white speck in his hand, that’s a Camel.
The gentleman with his back to us
is sharpening the saws.
From the look of the smoke,
they probably just gave the truck a shot of ether.
47, human resources
Decades gone from the header,
or logging landing, and the family
business, Gilkerson portrays his
father, the twelve-to-eighteen-hours-a-day logging contractor,
Bruce V. Gilkerson, who taught
him to grapple with life.
Those early cold mornings—
I’ve been to twenty-two different countries.
I’ll tell you, to this day,
when it’s cold out and I smell that
diesel exhaust, immediately, I feel that
I’m back on the header again.
Loggers at Sunrise, 2006, Oil on panel 12” x 16”, Collection of Herb and Simin Allison