Poem – Poppy (In Honor of Father’s Day)

“Poppy”

Sweat beaded brow above eyes of cornflower blue
weathered face from years of sun
Navy ships and rooftops
face of my father, friend
and in fireside frequents, foe

laugh
coarse rubbing of sandpaper
fluidity of rivers
floating in the carefree forever

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Poppy (circa 1967)

standing straight, well-armed warrior
weapons walled up around a soul ablaze with life’s fires
smokescreen of independence, walking solo high wire
but all the while
beneath beat a heart bursting
determined, downright Sedberry stubbornness

swept away across kitchen tiles
little girl standing proudly on Father’s feet
to the tune of several Elvis songs I can sing from memory
fast forward time to school days, home rides
jingling and jangling, bluegrass banjo bopping
childhood freely
cheek kisses on corsage nights
cap and gown smiles
miles and miles to white dress aisle

turndown sheets
fluffed pillows
sitting at the bedside of this fallen hero
one breath more
I cannot follow

goodbye, dear man
until we meet again at my life’s final tomorrow
heart beating
steadily
pulsating
grieving

-T.S. Reiger

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