Sir Dad

In honor of Father’s Day This was written about two decades ago while my father was still alive and coming
to terms with his humanity and fallibility…

Sir Dad

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.

Tarnished armor:
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—-
“Fidelity”
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.
The intensity of feelings fade— Pax Familia.

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