James H. Smith

BLACK GRANITE WALL

She lays a single rose at my feet
steps back and gazes up
She holds memories of one she ran to meet
With small arms out stretched, Daddy, Daddy

He’s big now, bigger than me
Got my blue eyes, but his mom’s nose and hair
As he reaches out, he ducks his head, so the tears I can’t see
An old baseball and glove he left, because he cares

Her hair is grey now, not the red it used to be
a tear touches my eye
As she reaches up to me
What’s that she said? Because I Love You, is why

He comes now and then, an hour or more he’ll stay
jungle boots, an old outdated fatigue jacket marked Company B
They and he have seen better days
Two cans of beer, a pack of smokes he brings to me

I knew they would come, couldn’t stay away
She leans on his arm, he walks now with a cane
I’m the Son, who was to come home some day
But the path of life changes unplanned, I’m glad they came

Grade School, High School we were best friends then
she gave me my first kiss, he was my best man
He married her, now they stand here and remember when
I lay a hand on their shoulders, to comfort if I can

My names not important, what’s important, you came
I’m A Daddy, I’m a Husband and Lover
I watch as you stand, reach up, touch, whisper my name
A Son, a Friend, a Soldier the names fit like a glove

I’m joy, happiness, and memories held dear
I’m part of your life, a life that changes day to day and year to year
Reach out your hand, I’m always near
You may not see me, but listen, my whispers come clear

Yes I know, I’m also hurt, anguish, a flood of tears
broken promises, lost dreams, I’m sorry, those I just couldn’t keep
The hurt will dim, the happiness remembered as we move down the years
I see it all, I also remember and try to understand why you weep

My pain, my fears, they’re gone, but my love forever lingers on
You will all take me with you when you go
I’ve always been and always will be
More than just a name etched in a Black Granite Wall