Jonathan Potter lives about a mile from the hospital where, in 1965, he was born. He is the son of a musician mother and a wheeling dealing woodworking father; the husband of a large-living speech therapist photographer wife; the father of two twirling whirlwinds of creativity and cuteness.
When Potter was a boy, he found some of his father’s large caliber rifle shells, took them out on the back patio with a hammer, and pounded on them in an unsuccessful attempt to extract the gunpowder for the production of homemade firecrackers. The same urge later led to writing poetry.
Bringing me and Mom home from the hospital
In 1965, my dad ran out,
Hey-ho, of gas, hey-diddle-diddle,
Son don’t cry now, it’s nothing to cry about,
He sang at the top of the hill. We glided
Into town on angel breath and I decided
To be an astronaut or cattle man,
Roam prairies undivided,
Drive the lunar module into the sun.
I followed my sister, down the path we’d race,
Past Mead’s and the strange abandoned house
To the orange brick school below.
We moved to the city and found a place,
Went every weekend to the show.
Careening on skateboard into the empty pool
And sailing up the vertical wall,
Sixteen feet up, then into the air,
I found myself above it all,
Turning to descend I knew not where,
And all those friends now gone,
Gravity moves us not to return.
I went to college, feigned deceits,
Prayed to God and tried to pawn
My very self for gross receipts—
Which God in turn rolled up into a riddle.
from House of Words