Christina A. Sharik


Not long ago
I found a small, cracked
leather book…
with Dad’s name on the inside flap.
Looking through it
I would discover
22 pages of penciled poetry –
between a cracked front
and a torn back cover…

He was 18 in 1940 and
very serious… there was a

War “over there” and he
was worried –
he wrote about Christmases past –
and about the death of the
boy down the street,
and a green-eyed “auburn” haired girl
that he had yet to meet…………

Running my fingertips over
each and every rhyme
I shed a little tear
for the father I didn’t really know
and I wished we’d had more time.

In time, he went to War “over there”
and came back changed.
He didn’t write poetry again
as far as I know,
until after the death of
the Auburn-haired girl
he’d married after the War
all those years ago.

He had an artistic gift…
and he made up stories for us –
Wiggly and Crawly –
(2 little worm boys –)
Reddy Cricket – (who was scorned
by the others for his color
but later saved the others
from a fire –)

He didn’t talk about the
most profound occurrence in his
life – not to us –
maybe to our mother, his wife.

I miss my dad.
We might be able to have
some good talks now.

My son is in the Army,
as he was………
and I write poetry.
But I write mine in pen –
His was written in pencil,
at the age of 18,
before so many things changed
before he met the green eyed girl
with auburn hair
before he served in China – “over there”.

Penciled poems on lined paper –
I run my fingers over the lines
and wish that we could start anew.
That’s what a few simple pencil marks can do.