Friday, June 19, 2009

Men of Few Words

Father's Day is Sunday, June 21. The following is in memory of my father, and my father-in-law, two men who have greatly influenced me.

Men of Few Words
At first they must seem
an unlikely pair,
a Swede and a Norsk you see.
One who washed dishes,
one who would not,
but both of them influenced me.

One struggled through life
in good times and bad;
eventually his collar turned white.
The other was steady,
with patience and drive,
and worked through both day and night.

They were always around
through thick and through thin,
when a friend was all that we needed.
Their support and wide smiles
helped bring us through trials,
with love and respect we were treated.

A necktie to mow lawns,
a joke worth a yawn,
a pipe that always smelled fine.
A limp in his walk,
and a fire in his talk,
are all fond memories of mine.

A farmer at heart,
who never could sing,
and lived his life with zest.
From the sea to the shore,
across highways and trails,
his toys were always the best.

A wink or a stare
or an angry cold glare
spoke volumes from the eyes of a dad.
With so little said,
we knew what they meant
when we were being good or bad.

No one is taller
than those who will rise,
when a young voice cries in the night.
And listen to fears
or troubles or cares,
with answers that always seem right.

Skills and abilities;
one many, one few.
They always did their best.
From pounding a nail
to baiting a hook,
at last it’s their turn to rest.

As years have gone by
we have learned to understand,
the words that so seldom were spoken.
We remember their best
with pride in our chest,
though now sometimes our hearts are near broken.

With favorite old chairs
and newspapers near,
they hardly got to know one another.
It’s comforting now;
their unspoken words
will always be heard by the other.

The memories we treasure
of grandpa and granddad
are those that will never depart.
Kind words and blue eyes
will always be warm
in the depths of nine young hearts.

And so we remember
while each their own kind,
with few common bonds week to week.
Their volume is sure,
their wisdom is pure,
when men of few words choose to speak.

Father's Day 1982

8 comments:

Mike said...

You are also one of the good men of few words! (me not so much) happy fathers day love you-from SanFran

Dana Leigh said...

(Tears)....Grandpa looks so happy in that picture. Happy Father's Day, Uncle D.

CousinK said...

Take it from me..... your Grandpa Nelson would have been proud of you. Oh such a heritage you have!

Auntie Fluffy said...

I couldn't bring myself to leave a comment until now...Father's Day hasn't and will never be the same for me without him. You never really know the depth of what you have until one day it's gone. That poem captures the true essence of both of them...and how lucky Laura is to have a picture like that!

John said...

That's a great poem! There's something special about a man who doesn't have to say much! You are truly the best dad anyone could ask for! I'm proud to call you mine! Happy Father's Day, again!

Laura said...

I love that poem. And I love my dad too. xoxoxo

Mary Ann said...

Wow - you sure know how to bring old, loving, fond memories of Dad... Thanks Dennis - this is very special... after all, I was always my Daddy's little girl and still consider myself to be and he's been my special angel since August 10, 1987.

whistler said...

I still have that poem with some of Grandpas things. I put you right up there next to my Grandpa as one of the best in my life!
I love you Uncle!