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Dad's Sled
Ken Hada


He built it with used two by fours
scrap metal for runners.
He always saved spare parts

and cast off material.
We might use that someday
he would say and, sure enough,

one day when ice and snow came,
the Bailey Hill beckoned.
I stood beside him

in the cold basement as he framed
a sled from a design
tucked away in his memory.

I helped by holding the wood
in place as he nailed it tight,
then tacked on the runners.

We rode that sled every day
the cold lasted, screaming with delight
flying downhill in homemade ecstasy.

But today I remember the making
of the sled. It is in building
that his genius lay, and how I marvel

at his ability to make happiness
out of things left over, used
and otherwise abandoned.

From Spare Parts (Mongrel Empire Press, 2010).
Used here with the author's permission.






Ken Hada is a professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Author of six books, he was raised in the rural Ozarks and enjoys hiking, flyfishing, and kayaking. Says Ken, “I find the natural order a powerful presence for writing. More than sentimental ‘nature’ poetry, I often situate a troubled or confused or lonely speaker of a poem within the natural rhythms, as an ordering, a correcting presence in the life of the poem.” Learn more about Ken at





Post New Comment:
Dear Ken, Thank you happiness out of things leftover.
Posted 01/07/2017 12:13 PM
What a great reminder that happiness can be crafted from the most inauspicious things. Wonderful poem, Ken!
Posted 01/07/2017 11:38 AM
This is beautiful nostalgia gone universal, thank you.
Posted 01/07/2017 10:52 AM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful, especially the last stanza.
Posted 01/07/2017 09:48 AM
Brings back good memories. Thanks for this!!!
Posted 01/07/2017 09:19 AM
What a memorable poem/tribute to a Dad!Thanks, Ken.
Posted 01/07/2017 09:16 AM
I was talking to an old friend yesterday about the sledding adventures we had many years ago. What an appropriate poem for our first snowfall of the season.
Posted 01/07/2017 05:29 AM

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