MAP # 84

Theme: Father’s Day

1. FATHERLESS by Jean Russell

You won't find cards

in the store for us --

the children

who are fatherless.

We don't have a day

that we await -

that's named for us

that we celebrate.

And those with dads

don't want to hear

about our loss -

it's what they fear.

So we are quiet

and walk away

when gifts are bought

and on display.

We leave the room

and wish in vain

that Dan could come

back home again.

But he is nearer

than you know -

he's sticking by you

while you grow.

And in your life

he'll play a part

because he's locked

inside your heart.

by Jean Russell

Written for Jeff and Andy Hight

on the first anniversary of their father's death

2. Legacy by Claibie Walsh

Riches are not a matter of property,

But memories of life, and life itself.

If I hope to leave you with anything,

It will be the images of

Our quiet walks and contemplations,

Of sunlight buttering its way through the canopy and fern,

Or the way we looked to your mother and grandmother

As we worked in the garden,

Or fished side by side in the pond.

The way we lifted our faces to the heavens

To fly with the fowl as they crossed our scopes,

Or followed the rutted, red, roads of our forefathers

Who, like us, were also shaded by Oak and Longleaf.

When I smile at you and take your hand in mine,

I revalidate all of life,

Know that it is a continuum, a celebration

Of all that has happened before us,

Of all that will happen after us.

I will make memories of us, for us, my Grandson

And for others who would take a part

In all our lives.

© Claiborne Schley Walsh

3. LEGACY by Sam Hurst

My father never found anything

lost on the ground

because he walked so proud and erect.

Now my sons and I can't either.


4. Letter from Dad by Cynthia Passmore

Wisdom came through postage stamps.

Not the verbal recognizance,

that face-to-face discussion Fathers

have with their Daughters

on the flip side of their childhood.

The delivery left me breathlessly awaiting the road map to my life.

I loved you that much.

I carried your letter in my wallet.

Creased between years of wrinkled time.

Edges worn by the changes of "fashionable" leather accessories,

and even then, its message still stylish.

I've changed wallets Dad.

Watched my student ID

turn into the Mastercard

of buying power.

The Account number so perfectly placed

sealed my defection

into a world you saw unfit for the likes of me.

You dreamed steady pay,

I searched for words that followed me

into the night hours,

bleeding into my pillow,

not knowing how to please us both.

The cost of postage is all I have left,

my billfold no longer large enough for your letter,

no matter how artfully folded.

Cynthia Passmore