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,


In loving memory of my father,

William I. Connelly

October 24, 1922 to October 8, 2006

WWII veteran, father,

grandfather, great-grandfather

and storyteller



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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