Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- weak longevity August 24, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:34 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My father age twenty-five.

his desires divided,

stood in line with naked men

waiting for the army to welcome them.

They listened to his slow, weak heart,

and said he’d stay home to do his part.

My father age twenty-five

managed to stay alive.

While his friends went off to foreign shores,

at home he built bombers for the war.

His friends returned broken and stayed,

with their damaged mates from their brigades.

Dad was whole and grieved the loss

of friendships torn by life or death.

On the decades rolled

and now each soul

who stood entwined within that line

is gone, save dad, whose slow, frail heart

turned out to be his strongest part.

Dad thinks back upon that line,

and celebrates birthday ninety-nine.


31 Responses to “poem- weak longevity”

  1. I think that this is a wonderful tribute; in many ways proof of life and death and that we do not control the day or the hour. Beautiful. Ann

  2. Ishaiya Says:

    Aw great piece Shawn, it made me smile.

  3. kiwiskan Says:

    The irony of life…

  4. Tell you father we said thanks for serving our country!

  5. laurie27wsmith Says:


  6. A loving tribute. Your dad must be a special man.

  7. Mike Says:

    A sublime and edifying theme of enormous dimension. Well written, particularly the denouement.

  8. j.h. white Says:

    What a wonderful poem of love and kinship…My own Dad, at ninety this year, is still healing from war wounds of the heart. He’s talking about experiences and the way he was effected by them even now and is such an inspiration to me. He’s finding a measure of peace and closure after all this time.
    I truly enjoyed reading this poem, hearing about your Dad and reflecting on my love for my own Dad. Thanks!

    • Dad talks about how after his friends returned from overseas, they were distant. They would only spend time with others who had been there- at the legion or whatever. So people he’d loved were lost, even though they returned.

  9. mcwatty9 Says:

    Very nice! Awesome tribute.

  10. billiamholt Says:

    Beautifully written! He must be proud.

  11. Loca Gringa Says:


    My aunt was a nun, over a beer one day we chatted about war and its affects on humanity. She had just returned from Congo. She spent many years there assisting in the psychological healing of the person ravaged by war and poverty. She said this to me which I found surprising. “Sometimes we have to fight, sometimes we have to go to extremes.”

    She also said this regarding those who fought and those who contributed to those efforts, and please, could you pass this on to your dad …

    “… and they loved us into freedom.” ~ Sister Alice Trudeau

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