Poems and Stories

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fathers and Sons

Fathers & Sons

He was my father,
I was his only son.
Now I am a father
And I have a son.

That is how it works
In this world.
Fathers have sons,
Mothers have daughters.

I can not speak for my sisters
I can not speak for my mother.

As the son of the father,
You watch him
And you see what he does.
And then you decide
What to do.

When you are young,
You do exactly what he does
Because you want to be like him.
Then, later, it gets confusing.

You get older and you see things
That you don’t like or understand.
The influence is still there,
The bond, the frame of reference.

But then you must you decide:
I will or will not do this
or that thing that he does.

But you will always be his son,
And he will always be your father.
You know you will always love him
Even though you do not understand.
What he is thinking, or feeling.

He shows you in different ways.
It may be a horse that
he wants you to ride,
Or an old boat that you know
Is just yours together,
Or it may be a long drive in the car
handing him cup after cup
of black coffee.

It doesn’t matter what you do together.
Every minute is worth days,
Every day is worth months,
A week together is worth a year.

You wait for a word of praise
You remember every one.
“You look natural on that horse”,
“The boat looks good”,
“Good shot, good cast, nice fish…”

Then you go away
And you write your own story.

You have a son.
And you think about him
And what he did and said
And what you will do
And what you must do.

You do some of the same things
That your father did
And you do or say different things.
And you create another son
Who will be a father.

You don’t think about it all the time
But you are trying to improve him,
To make him a better person.
But, instead you make a man.

A man who may become a father
But will always be your son.
And you remember all the good things
That your father did or said
And you hope that your son
will remember, too...

Written 10/11/98 after the death of my father
Frederick Thomas Crowley (1923-1998).


F. Thomas Crowley, Jr.(1948- )
Father of
Thomas Yates Crowley (1975- )
Grandfather of
Lochlan Thomas Crowley (2011- )

No comments: