NaPoWriMo, Day 3

For Day 3, NaPoWriMo wrote: “Today I’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem that mourns or honors someone dead or something gone by. And I’d like to ask you to center the elegy on an unusual fact about the person or thing being mourned.” I had a few other ideas but went with this, a first draft for Dad.

Mostly gentle,
hard-working,
devoted to family
and to his work.
Soft-singer by campfires
his voice deep as
we listened to his
unexpected songs in the dark.
He danced a mean fox trot
leaving me disappointed at proms
where boys did not dance.
He told a story, from his
youth of building radios
and studying hard, of
rigging a cape around him
and running through the
neighborhood being
superman, full of power.
There are radios he rescued
and fixed and children he
rescued from fallen bikes
holding wet towels so gently,
always being the calm one.
He made us fresh eggnogs
and worried over us
when we were sick.
He knew how to do square roots
by hand, and taught me how.
He knew how to use a slide rule
but switched to calculators.
He enjoyed fishing, catching
shiners by hand with a fly rod
and then catching bass with them,
enjoying the peace of the lake.
He didn’t talk about Korea but he
could fight a good fight
for important, for right things.
He held onto life fiercely
loving us all
not wanting to be a trouble
and when things were all set
he slipped away
confident we’d be all right
that morning the skinny boy,
flying, cape flapping as he went.

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