My Father’s Eyes

Why was it that I came into your house,
that I chose to live there within your life.
A child of such questions, dreams, and visions,
longings, expressions, and uncertainties?

What was the rush I made back into,
a time and a place in a cold world war.
Those ever present and changing times,
the fifties, the bombers coursing the sky?

I knew there were tools you held in your hands,
for of some fascination I’m sure I did find .
That growing you taught me the value of iron,
and hard work had reasons, it’s just what we did.

Older than the rest of all my friend’s fathers.
We didn’t run much, mostly watched the ball games.
But I still feel the warmth as your hands held my feet,
that felt frozen that eve picking mussels at the shore.

Frustration began as I grew and I learned,
that all of the answers just weren’t yours to give,
and I’d need to begin to make my own way,
building a living within this wide world.

You seemed disappointed when I left for school,
shaking my hand and wishing me well.
As if you knew something I’d soon discover,
that where I was going I wouldn’t fit in.

Later this dropout was earning a living,
and with pride on your face you’d always stop in.
Sharing your stories of beer trucks and women,
my own tools in hand then, I saw what you knew.

Life’s about choices not where you are going,
you did the best that you knew and left me to learn.
In my own separate way, yet watching me always,
caring in quiet and sharing your bread.

I remember you cried when you heard about Noreen.
I remember you told me to pay all my debts.
I remember you died all alone that Easter,
while my car needed water on the way to your room.

So what have I learned to share with my children –
We should never let go till tomorrow,
the things that need fixing right now,
whether faucets that leak, or hearts on the brink.

That love is not always words that are spoken,
but something that always is felt none the less.
And now when they look in my steely blue eyes
they’ll see your reflection of life living there …

Note about the photo – Ironically “The Old Man and the Sea” needle point that my mother did, turned out to look remarkably like my father, pipe and all.

23 thoughts on “My Father’s Eyes

  1. What a beautiful way to remember your dad’s lessons he taught…
    you were…are indeed very fortunate and you continue the energy of love….
    Thank You for sharing and caring
    Rake care…

  2. I am blown away, dear grandfather, by how openly and lovingly you honor your father and the blessings you have of passing on your father’s teachings to your own children. This poem is one of my favorites of yours. Thank you and bless you.

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  4. Absolutely lovely. I can see why it’s Pat’s favourite. For a while there as I read and imagined, your father’s reflection of life lived on in me also 🙂

  5. Pingback: My Father’s Eyes | grandfathersky

  6. Tears swelled in my eyes, particularly when I read about your father being older than other kids’ dads. Mine was too!
    One of the last times I spent with pop was at a Phillies baseball game and had to leave after the fifth inning because he was getting exhausted in the stands. It’s a time we had together much like the one when he took me to his restaurant where he worked as a chef and taught me how to peel potatoes into a large pot.
    Great memories provoked here. Thank you . . .

  7. This was very moving. I relate so much with a father who’s older than my friends’ dads.

    I love seeing how other people’s relationships with their parents are especially when they are one with love and support.

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