Meeting

                                  Meeting 


I arrive with wine, and little apprehension

Entering your home, my worries are very few
Confident that you are kind, that you are genuine
because your wonderful daughter is a part of you


As I look around, a comfort settles over me
Instantly, I am at ease, and even more sure
We say our hellos and she squeezes my hand

Moments later she takes me on a tour

I see warm colours, and family photos
lovingly displayed, up and down the hall
Your own creations, and your creativity,
gracing each room, and on every wall

Crafty signs, stitch work, and oil paintings
Your personal touches, so easily found
Children and teens, newlyweds and grandkids,
all of your loved ones, leaning or hanging around

Tangibly vibrant, with a flick of each switch
The now and the then, brought to light
The young couple, handsome and pretty
Their beginning, framed, in black and white

We stroll through your memories, new and old,
The long journey of a husband and a wife
A visual journal, of his story and yours,
Room to room, so full of a life

As we join everyone in your living room
I look to you, straight across, sitting in a chair
Our glances meet, knowingly, for a moment
neither overly concerned, but both of us aware


Just as I had hoped, with this important step,
I was adding perspective to my happy reality
But it was also tweaking my ongoing interest
with peoples’ grasps on their own mortality


I find myself staring, as we are having dinner

catching myself, just before you do
I am lost, inside my natural curiosity,
wondering about your point of view

I imagine what you might be thinking
Another Easter dinner, like any other year?
Are you blissfully oblivious to who is new,
and simply thankful that everyone is here?

Are you thinking about who is missing,
a little sad, and reminiscent as you look around?
Or are you soaking in the whole atmosphere
Every familiar sight, every happy sound?

Your grandchildren, all talking excitedly
That perfect mix of exuberance and loud
The smiles of three uniquely beautiful daughters
Your constant smile, telling me you are proud

Your living legacy, right here before you
Those most important, just being themselves
A vital portrait of your loving family
brought down to you from off the shelves

Your smile subsides only when you speak
Voice cracking, behind the few words you say
You seem quietly content, at the head of the table
as I gradually get to know you, on this April day


Everyone slowly heads towards the door,
saying thank-you and exchanging good-byes
I see your expression change, ever so slightly,
a
s a twinge of melancholy forms in your eyes

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Worry


20170805_142905[1]
Worry

You worry about us
while I worry about you
My wounds have mostly healed
Yours, are still unfairly new

Still vulnerable, still susceptible,
Still affected by so much
Bruised around the edges
Still tender to the touch
 Memories, there on the wall
Reminders, flashing on the screen
Taking you back to a hurt
that never should have been
Pictures and question marks
Still images, still fresh 
Years of mixed emotions,
rubbing against your flesh
The occasions, the situations
With family, with friends
The sudden jolt to your system
When some of your past attends
Incessant and intrusive probing
Concerned people, hassling you
The pangs from a harsh reality,
that may or may not be true
Occasional reminders,
that prick you like a pin
Sharp and pointed circumstance
Jabbing at your skin

Rumours, and stories that swirl
Of others, going through the same
Open secrets and indiscretions
The deflecting of the blame
Sad and similar symptoms,
that you reluctantly understand 
Taking you an unhealthy distance
from the life that you had planned

20180111_121057[1]

You worry about us
 and I worry about you
 This is what I can see
This is all I can do

There is pain that I recognize
Sore spots, we have both got
Other aches, I can understand
Worse ones, that I cannot
Nights, together in your home
Putting myself in your place
Hours, rapt deep in our conversation
Moments, spent lost in your face
The nuances of your smile
The emotions, found in your eyes
A shimmering well of melancholy
behind a wavering disguise
The sharp, cruel jabs of pain,
that stab your heart like a knife
The tears, that occupy my mind,
as we sit, surrounded by your life
Yet, there is no place I’d rather be
There with you, trying to comprehend
Distracting you and laughing with you
As your partner, as your friend
Taking you to a fun and happy now,
And sitting beside you there
Giving only me, and who I am,
In every minute that we share
Knowing, I have zero urge to sit
where someone else has sat
That I am one hundred percent yours
That I can promise you that
I have my steadfast morals
I have my own unique charms
I have this love for you,
and I have two strong arms

sunset-red-pair-love-67615.jpeg

You worry about us
I worry about you
I promise you my honesty
That is the most I can do

Nest

I am still not used to it.
Both of them only half the time
was hard enough to accept.
Then the teenage years came
and they became independent.
Half the time became
half the time, half the time.
Then came graduation,
and jobs, and university for one.
And now it’s half of them,
half of half the time.
In less than a year and a half
it will be none of them
almost all the time.
That’s life, I suppose…20171130_094348


NEST
 

Our new family home,
that I bought to share
A shell of a house
without you there
Echoes in the halls
Walls, inside of walls
Some framed with memories,
some still bare 

Never seems as bright
when you are gone
A dim comparison,
with half the lights on
Darkness under a shade
Beds perpetually made
A window with a view,
with the curtains drawn


Down, in the basement

Alone, in the yard
I knew it would hit me,
just not this hard

A simple fact of life,

but it feels like a test
They spread their wings,
and they leave the nest


I wander and I wonder,
cleaning up for one
Swept up in thoughts of you
until the work is done
A vacuum, and a broom
The dust in your room
Faint specks of yesterday,
settled, and then none 

The quiet of the night,
t
he silence of compromise
C
alendar on the fridge,
c
old comfort, as time flies
Circles, that tell me when
Two weeks until then
A small glimmer of hope,
faint in
a father’s eyes

 

Empty, in your bedroom
Alone, at the table
I glance to your pictures,
when my heart feels able

Sad solace in knowing
that it’s for the best
When life calls them,
and they leave the nest

 


Fortitude

Fortitude
From father to father,
and friend to friend,
I send you thoughts
I can barely comprehend.

I have been reticent
and respectfully hesitant
to send my thoughts,
any thoughts, your way.
Because, for the first time,
perhaps first time ever,
I simply could not find
any words to say.

After laboured rumination,
days spent distracted,
with all of your family
weighing on my mind,
feeling extremely selfish
and somewhat irresponsible,
I will attempt to express
thoughts I’ve managed to find.

As a distant friend
it would be remiss,
and inadequate,
to send you my love.
If I was a believer
I could send a prayer,
deferring my sentiments
to someone up above.

I have no wisdom
to pass on to you,
no innate answers
that I can honestly give.
It’s an experience
that I have never had,
and one, that no one
should ever have to live.

You already know 
we send our condolences,
and we know you have family
for a comforting hug or a soothing kiss.
So, as my tear touched sentences
gain their momentum,
the least that I can do
is to let you know this.

We have read the resilient words
that you have shared,
have great respect for your fortitude
in the face of such pain.
We’ve seen the positive approach
that you have displayed,
the cascade of beautiful memories
and there affirming refrain.

Pictures of a young life
well-lived, always to the fullest,
by a vibrant young man
who seems exceedingly wise.
Smiles and great experiences,
friends and family, and life,
images of dedication, and pride,
seen through his father’s eyes.

We admire, from our distance,
your immense courage, and resolve,
as you lead by example,
for those also exceedingly sad.

The best representation of a parent
and a dedicated husband,
the brave face of a grieving family,
the embodiment of a caring Dad.

Seeing this fortitude in you
provides us all with inspiration,
with the stark realization
that we must cherish every day.
And, what I realize now is,
that the most important thing,
is not what we have to offer you,
but rather, what we can take away.

Thinking of your love, and loss
makes me want to give my all,
recognizing a perspective
that I should have embraced before.
When I see your stance,
representing such strength,
I am inspired to be stronger
and to love life just that much more.

Whenever I get down
I will climb right back up,
look at my little problems
with the appropriate perspective.
Will take the time to notice
the warmth that surrounds me,
to understand how lucky I am,
whenever I feel reflective.

Every time I feel the impulse
I will give my daughters a hug,
holding on to it, and them,
just a little longer.
I will tell them, far more often,
just how much I love them,
with a renewed certainty,
which is just that much stronger.

And, I will never use distance
as a lazy, convenient excuse,
because when time is so tenuous,
it should never be a bother.
This is a promise I intend to keep,
in honour, of both you and your son,
as I draw upon your fortitude
to be a better friend, and father.

Father to father,
and friend to friend,
my words barely touch
the respect that I send.


Fortitude
– 
courage in pain or adversity:

synonyms: courage · bravery · endurance · resilience · mettle
In memory of Ricky Davies
(1993-2016)

 

 

Legacy

       Legacy

Can you leave
a legacy behindIMG_20150113_154720[1]
When your
blood line
ceases?
When no one
still living
shares
your blood?


No children

and wife gone
Ninety-three years
in this world 
Simple facts
for a simple man

Extraordinary 
perhaps not
But look closer
to find

Certain details
of this life


Married for

fifty-seven years
Partners in life-149309_ORIGINAL
for sixty
Alone for his
last fifteen

Literally worked in
the old salt mine
Yet still found
the resolve
Yet still found
the time

Served his nation
in World War II
Decorated for
his bravery
Liberating France
from Nazi ruleIMG_20150113_154846[1]

Volunteer fireman
Chief for years
Legion executive
Charity work
Loving husband
Friend to many


Proud and kind

small town man
Always a smile
in his eyes
Always a kind word
to say

You could see
his happiness
Always could sense
his ease 
You can recognize
his place


The long lineimages
at the wake
proof

Tears of honour
beside the grave
evidence
Of a life
well spent

All that he had
to those of us
who mattered

His wife and
his memories
by his side…

The people
of his legacy

 

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