Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy 80th, Pa!

Today is my dad's 80th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Pa!

Dad's a poet (and a retired engineer, and a hunter, and a hopeless romantic, and a lot of other things).  Here's one of his poems that seems apt for today.

Madelon, Bill the pony, and Dad (11)

Sounds from Childhood

Sounds from my childhood keep running through my mind
Sounds from a childhood long since left behind
Sounds that have lingered all these many years
Sounds that still are like music in my ears

Rain on the tin roof of Granddad's big old house
Warm summer wind sighing through the tall southern pines
Grandma's call to breakfast in the middle of the night
Her Leghorn roosters crowing in the early morning light
Granddad softly praying at the lamp-lit breakfast table
Lowing of the Jerseys as Aunt Mary, Granddad, and I neared the stable
The Belgian mares' low whinny for their morning tub of oats
The grunting and the squealing of the noisy, nosy shoats
The meowing of the barnyard cat for her daily dish of cream
Aunt Mary's invitation, "Charles, grab your cane pole, let's see if we've caught all the catfish in the stream"
The clip-clop of the Maude mare's hooves with me astride her
While Granddad walked home from far-off fields beside her
He's leading "Old" Mable who wouldn't let you ride her
Grinding of the mill gears as we made apple cider
Madelon's shrill shriek when she stepped barefoot on a spider

Sounds from my childhood keep running through my mind
Sound from a childhood long since left behind

I hear the "rain crow" cooing in the early morning light
I hear the whip-poor-will's mournful medley in the middle of the night
I hear the roar of thunder in the far-distant west
Hey, Missus Rain Crow, why not give it a rest
I hear Mother singing as she brushes out her hair
"Precious memories, how they linger"
"A photograph or two, some letters tied with blue,
They're all I've left of you, among my souvenirs"

I hear my Father praying at meal time, in church,
and in the middle of the night
Lord, this was a good man - please treat him right

These sounds from my childhood are still ringing in my ears
Sounds that have grown more dear to me
With the passing of the years
And when my time on earth is done, I pray each childhood sound will go with me
As my soul seeks higher ground

(reprinted without permission, plz don't sue)

1 comment:

  1. finally catching up on your blog - guess I was inspired as today is YOUR birthday! Love this picture of your Dad - don't think I've seen it before. And of course I always enjoy the chance to enjoy some of his poetry. Was lucky enough to get to visit with both your folks at "the homestead" in June. Your Mom treated me to barbecue and cheese grits!! Best meal I've had in quite some time! - Haley Ann


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