Tears For Dad (a post Father’s Day poem)

PawPaw93I didn’t want to say goodbye
I would gladly have spent more sleepless nights at your bedside;
I know, quite selfish of me to hold on so,
But you were my best friend.
I wanted more time with you
I wanted you to tell me more of how life was when you were young.
With you I was able to live through decades I had never seen,
I could listen to you and imagine life simpler, maybe
without as much chaos and stress as I sometimes feel.

You were my connection to family members I never knew,
those family relationships of which death had robbed me;
When you recounted exchanges with your dad and your mother,
and when you remembered times with your older sisters and brothers;
suddenly those old gray-scale photographs were full of color
and I could see smiles in expressionless faces.

But, no more now; I must content myself
with my own memories that are beginning to fade;
you are yet alive there.
And now I feel such a need
to somehow immortalize you in my words;
foolish me,
I know you’ve already done that by your love to so many;
Yet, how will my little offspring know what a wonderful person you were,
I must no longer keep the wonderful relationship we had to myself,
I must share the warmth, joy and love knowing you has brought to me,
I love you, my dear departed Dad, you are still the flickering light glowing within my soul.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

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My Tender Son (sonnet for my youngest)

Matt eating ice creamA tender son my loins begot
Yet peers said, “Raise him rough.
If he’s to see his chosen lot
You must make him tough.”
So on such poor advice I tried
To be rough with my child,
But found it my own heart belied
T’ward my gift so young and mild.
I found their ways too brutish so
I tried soft love instead,
I championed his every move
And poured belief upon his head,
He makes me proud it seems each turning of the Sun,
I’m proudest that my tender son is still my tender son.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

Being Dad at Bedtime

Backpack Toys version of Teddy Ruxpin

Backpack Toys version of Teddy Ruxpin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“My friend, my friend, that’s what you are to me.”
Father and toddler sang their bedtime song.
“My friend, my friend, ’cause I love you, and you love me”
Teddy Ruxpin’s song brought a bedtime calm
to the highly energetic child.
Mother and brother only made him more frantic,
Grandma and others tried also their antics
with the highly energetic child.
But when Dad went in and they sang their song
Peace soon prevailed and sleep would come on
for the highly energetic child.
That child would go on to be a grown man
But he’d never forget that song with his ‘friend’
when a highly energetic child.
So when life’s pressure would grow to a frenz’
He’d remember that song and sing it again
like the highly energetic child.
Matt at 3.5He’d remember his Dad and that’s when he knew
his ‘friend’ always remembered him too,
his highly energetic child.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

~Matt is now a graduate student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA in the English PHD program. We remain the best of ‘friends’ and he still calls me when he is in a situation where he needs to ‘calm down’ quickly. I am most proud to be his Dad!

Matt in tuxedo

What A Dad Is There For

wpid-IMG_20121227_145552.jpgWhen his bike chain slipped off its gears,
When his hair grew past his ears,
When he had to face his fears,
That’s what Dad was there for.

When his arm was broken, twice?
Then his leg much later in life,
Facing bills with children and a wife,
That’s what Dad was there for.

Now a dad can’t fix everything
that a life lived full can bring,
But to keep his son from losing heart,
that’s what Dad is there for.

Sometimes wisdom, sometimes belief,
sometimes just space apart,
A good dad will give only what his son needs,
That’s what Dad is there for.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

~Happy Father’s Day to my son, Marc, who cherishes his two little girls as I have always cherished being the father of my two sons.

IT’S THINNERING (When My Youngest Was Three)

thundercloud #1

thundercloud #1 (Photo credit: Giyu (Velvia))

“It’s thinnering, it’s thinnering!”
Cried the child running in with fright.
“It’s thinnering, it’s thinnering!”
Leaping up to his father’s side.
“It’s thinnering, it’s thinnering!”
“Shhh, child…you’ll be alright.”
Thunder is not so scary
when Dad is holding you tight.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

Gone, Yet Here (Sonnet for Dad)

An old man gone remains here still,PAPA SANSBURY
Though only in some minds;
A hundred hearts retain the thrill
His love bestowed their lives.
He lived here ninety years plus three,
Then moved to yonder shore;
Where his bride from their teenage years,
Moved fourteen years before.
Though yonder those two lovers joined,
They both yet here remain;
their blood beats strong in ten they borne,
Plus hearts that from those sprang.
An old man’s gone yet he lives on,
My heart’s just one such home.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

In Memory of My Dad

PawPaw93The 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