His childhood was happy,

until it wasn’t.

Death called too close to home.

Unwanted family estrangement trailed close behind.

Alone in a place where even the language

plotted to make a shy boy lonely,

he persevered.


War, dark and ugly,

tried to swallow him whole.

In a world where men didn’t cry,

he sobbed like a child

while his best friend died in his arms;

he refused Death when it called for him

and never forgot.


No one told him life would be easy;

he would’ve recognized the lie,

but with courage he didn’t acknowledge

he persevered.


In a life filled with loss

he still marveled at the little joys:

the beauty found in nature,

a good meal,

a miracle win in the World series,

the laughter of children,

and heart-felt hugs

wherever they came from.


I’m awed by the inner strength

of such a gentle spirit,

and hope I’ve inherited

that sense of wonder

required to persevere.


~Elise Skidmore ©2017

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    1. Thank you, Denise. I’d agree with you on the gentle spirit. My dad and I were very much in sync. I hope I’ve inherited his inner strength and courage that he thought he didn’t possess.