updated post: swimming in the warm springs

I’m watching Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts and thinking of my best friend Don Brody, who was stricken with polio as a child. I wrote this poem a while back while flying over the empty places between Utah and California. Don, a fine musician, used to tell me about the therapy he’d received at Warm Springs, where FDR recovered from polio.  Brody was one of the last of my generation to contract polio. In fact, the vaccine was available when he came down with the disease, and his father, a physician, had some vaccine, but it was still new to the market, and his dad was concerned about the safety of the product, so he made the decision not to administer the vaccine to his son. That decision plagued him all his life. Both Don and his dad, Dr. Stan Brody, are passed now, two of my greatest friendships. Enjoy one of Don’s songs at the link below.


swimming in the warm springs

The requiem that lowered
my old friend into the ground,
plays on, never long escaping
my memory

Looking out over dark patches
that once held life,
barren now but for the twinkle
of water in moonlight,

I think of him as a boy
swimming in the warm springs,
one day to be joined there
by me


©Daniel von der Embse

The Day Roy Orbison Died, by Don Brody


4 thoughts on “updated post: swimming in the warm springs

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