Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Poetry Man

Today is my father's birthday.

I can think of so many things he has done in his life that impress me, but one that continually amazes me is the poetry he writes. In the last year, we have been posting them to his poetry blog and you may enjoy checking it out.

I used to write a little poetry, but I haven't tried in so many years that I am unlikely to ever do so again. But I thought it might be fun to write a poem to celebrate Dad's birthday.

And to make the challenge even more interesting, I decided I would write a rhyming poem - something I did seldom when I fancied myself a young Lord Byron.

Let me tell you. It is so hard to do. I don't think I have spent this much time on such a short piece in my whole life. And upon re-reading it, I can't say that I am very pleased with it. But with the deadline of Dad's birthday, here it is anyway.

Ah well. Obviously my literary role in life is to be limited to the role of smart-ass blogger. (And, Sandy, I know I said I would include you in the first poem I wrote if I ever wrote one again. But I just couldn't figure out how to do it. Maybe next time - although there isn't likely to be one.)


Red Kennedy

October winds brought in the frosty morn
with whispers there soon will be snow.
And in Vermont young John was born
Eighty-five years ago.

A carrot top, they called him Red
in the home of the Kennedy clan.
Those who have known him have always said
he grew into a wonderful man.

Wallingford memories are held so dear,
bringing stories so tender and funny.
Sure times were tough, but it's ever so clear
that Mary's house had more love than money.

Let time hurry forward past basketball glory,
past Navy service, past lifeguard duty,
til St Patrick's Day when the thrust of this story
shifts to passion and love and Norma's beauty.

In love and in luck, their life moves on.
A September wedding at Christ the King.
The next Fathers Day they welcome Don,
a pointy-head baby and chubby thing.

Eight years later young Bob arrives.
They completed the family of four.
And all of this time, Red's career thrives.
Keebler's offers he cannot ignore.

Opportunity knocked and the family moved
to Syracuse first, then Florissant.
With every challenge Red easily proved
there was little to do that he can't.

Another promotion, New Jersey's now home
with only one move left to make.
Eventually, wanting to no longer roam,
Back to Rutland for happiness' sake.

But the man's many jobs don't define him.
They merely mark points in his life.
To know all about what's inside him
Check the love of his family and wife.

They will tell of a grand story teller
and how he can make you laugh.
(My favorite - when Mom's in the cellar,
cutting the toilet in half!)

They will tell of a generous man who would do
whatever he could to help out.
and the courage he showed as he always fought through
in every medical bout.

In October Vermont paints a golden earth
before winter weather turns bad.
And it's also the month that marks his birth.
Happy Birthday, Dad.

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