The portrait of that precious weathered brow
hangs gracefully in the gallery of my heart;
How those loving eyes though dimmed by age
Still can charm me as I gaze therein, and
soothe me as sweet memories start to roll.
Oh, the beauty of that aged hand half raised
As ’twas oft when he’d tell me some old humorous tale
With names like Spurgeon, Roscoe, J. D., Slim and Dan.
That hint of smile I see there harks me back to how
he’d start a joke, and have to pause and shake his head,
laughing by himself until he’d calm enough
to tell the punch line for the rest.
His portrait hangs in quite a featured spot
next to The Lady of my heart who risked her life
to give birth unto mine. I view not one but see the twain
when should I look within my reins to take this stroll so sweet.
I see his mouth and hear his speech when he recounted
sorrowfully how he had not the father always been
that he had come to be to me. I see those ears and hear
laments that I one day poured full within
of how I had so failed to be the man he’d hoped of me.
I see his crown silvered and grey
bespeaking wisdom with his age, and I
remember how he freely forgave me all my faults.
Oh, Dear Dad, I miss you so, so on this woeful day I go
back to those days when we talked joyfully again.
In this simple tribute let me say thanks
for being my father, my mentor, my North Star,
and most of all for being my best friend.
-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013