Deer Dad

by longformphilly

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Jason Nark | Philadelphia Daily News | December 2012

The grandfather I’ve never met is standing at the surf’s edge in my mind, on an empty beach I’ve painted from a memory passed down to me as a child.

His khaki pants are rolled above his ankles, but waves crash into his calves and little baitfish dart between his bare feet. He steadies a long, wooden fishing rod against his thigh and wipes the spray from his glasses with a handkerchief, then jams it back into the breastpocket of his undershirt and regains his grip.

There’s a little boy beside him, unsteady in the tide and he’s staring up earnestly, in awe. They are alone on this late-summer afternoon that I’ve imagined half a century ago, a father and son whose time together is running out.

Writer bio: Jason Nark, a South Jersey native and graduate of Rutgers-Camden University, wrote for the Camden Courier-Post before joining the Philadelphia Daily News in 2008. 

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