A Gentle Man
by Elise Partridge (1923-2005)
Barely nineteen, volunteered for the war.
On a sweaty Pacific island
hearing pilots rumble off
which friends didn't come back.
One August dawn,
only wind-rattled palms.
He was grateful just to sail home.
Later, with wife and sons, he'd scan the skyAlways the right word, or none;
for blips of green—
hummingbirds swooping to his feeder.
Methodical at every task,
each dawn, for them, he'd daub it clean.
a grin and a nod meant good.
Helped before he was asked.
Read to his sons, dried dishes,
cleared neighbors' drives, hewed their wood.
At eighty, quavering hands;
teetering on each threshold.
Tenderly he'd loop
his wife's last dahlias with string
so they could stand.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Poetry I like
Has nothing whatsoever to do with MLK Day, but I saw this poem this morning on Poetry Daily and thought it was so, so sweet. Not syrupy, but filled with resonant imagery -- at least for me. I hope you can appreciate it, too.