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Friday, November 08, 2013

Father, I Thank You

If I could build
into this poem a room
where you and I could meet
one final time, there is so much
I would want to tell you;

too much to fit
into any metre or rhyme,
or free verse with a poetic line;
for example, there was that moment
I was four or five;

that moment where I stumbled
as a child and reached out
to hold your steady hand,
and you took mine with a love
that helped me to stand

on my own, to walk alone
but never lonely, for your love
was as strong as stone behind me;
and even when the son
became the father, and father the son,

it was a love that shone greater;
grateful for the chance
to pay back in some small sum
the love you had given freely
without expecting return;

a love that will outlast forever-- yes, truly--
even now that you are gone
as quickly as the short time
we had together; for one day
you and I will walk hand in hand again,

without the frailty of age,
where you'll match me step for step
and show me some more of that courage
you gave me as a child--
and I shall look up to you again

like a child aged five
looks up to the skies,
painfully unaware back then of how
quickly time flies with the moment
and your heart in its sure hand;

and that there is never enough time
to tell you everything I wish to,
even if this poem were a room
in which I could find you;
except possibly this:

my last living memory of you
where you had whispered to me
thank you for loving me so,
and I had not known how to reply,
except to say, no, father

I thank you for teaching me how.

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