LEFT UNSAID

(For Dad On Father’s Day)

From time to time I have a need
to travel back again
to the place my father farmed
when he was just a kid

Now walking side the furrowed field
I’ve photos in my hand
of the home place I was told
once rested on this land

Dad’s father passed before 8th grade
with mother’s fields to tend
sure there would be no school for him
he worked the land instead

There wasn’t time to be a boy
he lived just to survive
for in those bleak Depression years
sheer will kept him alive

Then crops and grass refused to grow
the sunburnt soil was spent
So dry the only moisture fell
from drops of family sweat

At times there seemed a blackened sky
that promised needed rain
but hopes were dashed
for these were swarms
of locust on the plains

Hungry cattle lingered there
Some sold but even worse
lay dying from the scorching winds
on snowdrifts made of dirt.

They always had a sense of faith
and did not live in fear
for even in the worst of times
they felt that God was near

And beautiful those winter nights
with family round the stove
mother played, the brothers sang
and there was joy somehow

A few years later dad would serve
in the Pacific strife
my mother said that what he saw
left scars in him for life

It’s all I have to treasure now
of dad back in the day
save images and family lore
my mind has tucked away

He never spoke of war or farm
or what his life was like.
When I would ask he’d look away
and say “some other time”

Oh what I wouldn’t do right now
To have him back again
and hear the stories he could tell
of things he left unsaid
Yes, hear the stories he could tell
of things he left unsaid

2 thoughts on “LEFT UNSAID

  1. What a loss that we heard so few of the stories of the soldiers in WWII. Long ago I worked at the VA for six years and heard a lot about then-current struggles, Vietnam and even Korea but the world war vets just had a different ethic about that. We had some 4 bed wards and late in the night I would overhear just a word or two as they struggled in their advanced age to encourage younger guys. Love your ode.

    Like

  2. Thanks for a wonderful poem. I lived through some of that, the dust bowl days, world war II, born in the 30s. Some good, some bad reminders. Happy Fathers Day.

    Liked by 1 person

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