Monday, June 6, 2011


Farewell my father; I pray your final days were gentle,
Your last breath drawn in peace,
your worries, struggles, and yes, anger,
like shackles; at last were shaken from your soul,
like the dust I remember you'd drive from your clothes
when returning from the fields on the farm.
Your time with us is over; the last crop binned and secure,
the equipment parked row on row, never to move again.

It will take me a while to let you go -
there's so much to remember and recall.
Memories of you flicking the visor down moments before
the splattering, sparking welding gun would erupt in your steady hand.
And standing, watching you oil the chains on the shuddering,
shrieking machine as the dry west wind would sweep through the trees
around the yard and you would predict the golden swaths
lying in the fields were dry enough to harvest.

You were a man mystified with mystery if it was not defined;
with ideas or concepts that could not be consigned to straight lines.
You measured all things in life; from spraying and fertilizing,
to mealtimes and magpies and marriages and money.
This too I will have to let go, as I continue to accept
that underneath the strength and structure and solitude,
you were a man that was human; a man that did what he could
to be what he would be; my father. Farewell.

J J Unger, May 13, 1921 - May 31, 2011

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