Thursday, April 2, 2009

Horrible and Beautiful and Sad and True . . .

I've been thinking about my dad--step-father if you want to get technical--but I ran across this horrible, beatiful, terrible poem today, and I wept. I wept for both of my fathers and their short, short lives--and wept at how lucky I am that I had two of these men, shorn from the same strong cloth, but different in their pattern and print, and I wept for myself, and the children who will come, the children who will never know these strong, stoic men, these fathers, who changed my life in the small amount of time they walked ahead and beside me on this earth, and for the long time that I will live on this earth without them . . .

A Father's Pain
by Larry Smith

My father ignored his pain,rode it out without complaint—high threshold they call it now.He worked as a brakeman in snow and rain.Once he pulled his own back tooth,held the pain in his side one timetill it burst his appendix, thenlay in a hospital bed for days.He wasn’t hard on us kids,never struck us, took us todoctors and dentists when needed.He used to sing in the carbought us root beers along the road.He loved us with his deeds.The day he died, he played golfin the morning, came home,muffling the pain in his arm,went upstairs and lay down.
"A Father's Pain" by Larry Smith, from A River Remains. © WordTech Press, 2006. Reprinted with permission. (
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Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing
My friend Pantera with Tahoe & Me

Tahoe and a new friend at the signing