A timeless living statue
that I worshipped as my god.
The smell of his pipe.
The gruff of his voice.
His obstinance in good humor.
A charming magician
that could do no wrong in my eyes.
Manhattan in hand.
Tending to his rose bushes.
Go pick an orange of the tree he would tell us.
Ice cream is always in the freezer.
His hands were worn and wise.
His banjo, a relic from his time down by the river.
Faultless and flawless through my ten year old lens.
The edges of his drinking and temper
blurred to non-existence.
He was a beacon of love.
A tower at five foot seven inches.
His fine felt hats.
The wooden shoe horns in the closet.
The glass at the bedside that held his dentures.
His bible was worn.
His favorite, the book of Job.
His heart knew life.
His heart knew loss.
The broken pieces fell again and again,
still he rose.
covered in the blood
from the wounds of time,
Nothing could stop this man from living.
My living God he was.
Burgers on an English muffin
was the sacred feast
at his old kitchen table
in the trailer park
where he still wooed the ladies,
winning hearts and adoration
from men and women alike.
A God and also a good man.
My son met him once
four months before his passing.
He found his eternity
on the morning of my son’s first Christmas.
The celebration of the birth of Christ
was the homecoming of my holy God.
To a place he prayed for every evening.
He came to say hello early that Christmas morning
from his bodily freedom.
He found me driving down I-696
on my way home from my paper route,
He popped open my glove box,
then the words came –
Pull yourself together.
I am home.
It’s your son’s first Christmas.
Live and be joyful.
For my life.
For your son.
I am home.