His hands were always hard, and gnarled,
Like the hands of one who had
spent his life mending fishing nets
or working on mending things in general…
like the mistakes I made.
His smile was always gentle, yet,
he didn’t show it much….
It betrayed him and gave him away for
the soft and caring person he was inside;
when all outside was tough as nails and rigid as steel.
His manner was intense at most times,
he suffered no fools as they would say of him at his funeral;
But, with me, he was as a little child, a friend…
who would come to play or,
tell me stories,
or sing me to sleep with “Frankie and Johnny”…
His voice was deafening when I had gone too far,
or done something ridiculous, and,
when he used it on those occasions;
the earth shook on it’s axis it seemed….
But, that voice was also soothing and kind
and always reassuring…when I was down
because I was “too fat and ugly” to make friends,
when I made a bad grade because I didn’t understand like the others…
…when I was alone as an only child.
There were days when I was scared of what he would say
or what he would do, because the worse sin I could commit
was to disappoint him…and I did that mightily.
But, there were days when the door of my room would open;
and he would peek in and make a silly face…
or just say hello and see what I was up to…
…or bring me new comic books when I was sick.
On the day I said goodbye to him,
I had spent his last night alone with him
in a hospice room….and held those hands;
I had stroked that greyed hair and looked into those twinkling eyes,
and I had made a silly face,
and said hello to see where he was going..
ands sang goodbye with “Frankie and Johnny”….
I miss you Daddy.