I am posting this poem today in honor of my father’s 82nd birthday. One he is celebrating in heaven. We said our goodbyes in his hospital room in 2001 with the hope he’d be coming home soon. Instead he made another journey. Happy Birthday, DAD!
In loving memory of Merill Odell Moore 1928-2001
He reflected the sun, the moon, the stars to me,
His armor bright, polished, gleaming.
I shadowed my eyes with my hands
in order to watch him in full regalia
charge through life’s tourneys—
large and valiant, a hero—
my father, my knight.
mirror-like silver, dull grey patina,
black, no light reflected.
Retirement. Discards of past victories
shelved away in labeled boxes in the hall closet.
Memories of Truth, Integrity, Honour—-
Forgive an old fool.
Sorrow of wisdom won—late.
The castle sold; milady moved.
The armor doesn’t fit anymore,
perhaps, it never did.
I pick up a piece of it, rub it with my sleeve.
Still silver underneath the black.
Not a hero, not a statue up on a pedestal,
not a knight pursuing some holy grail—
a man, my father.
A few dents on the breastplate, battle-scarred.
We walk together; his hair a helmet of dun grey metal,
mine a scarf woven with a thread or two of white.
We stroll across a bridge side by side.
Grandsons tug insistently on his wrinkled, greave-less hands.
We stand before the mirrored surface of a lake.
We may never understand completely our reflections there…
The choices we each have made.
Feelings tempered by time fade— Pax Familia.
c. Darlene Moore Berg