Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad






Your blue eyes


sparkled with a story


you wanted to tell me


about when you were a boy


in New Orleans

and dressed like a pirate

for Mardi Gras



or when you stole bananas off the boat


and the tarantula crawled up your leg


when you hid under the porch


to eat your stolen fruit





Then there was the time


you were swimming with your brother


a contest he always won


but this time the water mocassin


swimming beside you


added speed to your legs


and you beat your brother


and the snake


to the finish line





Once you met a pretty English girl


in a teashop in Cambridge


she allowed you to tag along


as she shopped with her mother


you continued to follow her


across the ocean and through


sixty-one years of marriage





Stories of men you worked with


camping trips and mountain hikes


living without much money


making toys and fixing things


how you cared for your tools


water battles and Brer Rabbit


all the memories crowded


behind your bright blue eyes





tumbled out in pieces


like mis-matched jewels, no order


to the bits you told me


during long evenings


or during dialysis


just bits and pieces strung together


along a shining cord leading back


through eighty-four years





I hold the stories in my mind


seeing not the places you described


but your face, your eyes,


remembering.








In loving memory of my father,


William I. Connelly


October 24, 1922 to October 8, 2006





WWII veteran, father,


grandfather, great-grandfather


and storyteller

2 comments:

ELLOUISESTORY said...

Touching, loving - a realy sweet tribute to your father that tells about him as well. Ellouise

Mike said...

Not much to say but "so very well done."

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