Our Sad Farewell

We buried my father, 29 years ago today, at the young age of 70! Next month I will turn 74. The years have moved on, and now I have out lived my father. He will always have a place in my heart, as memories of my life with him wander in and out of my consciousness. I am like him in so many ways. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as the saying goes.

Pop’s weak heart gave out

We celebrated through tears

Lift your glad voices”

In Triumph on High”

His gain…Our loss

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Your Roots

Beneath every tree are roots

Holding… interlocking… feeding

Bringing strength foundation

Roots the source of all beauty we see

looking at a tree

You’ve heard, “Behind every successful man

is a good woman.”

My mother was that good woman

holding interlocking our family

feeding… caring for each one.

My father was a pillar of the community

on strength and nourishment

of my mom who was always there for him.

An unsung hero

she was the roots of our tree.

Without her none of us would be

standing as we are today.

My Father and Mother on their 40th

My father died at age 70. My mom lived to be 93!

Photos; Dwight L. Roth

Anna

Dancing Girl

Four years old Anna’s, daddy played the fiddle in a small-time music group. On Saturday nights, her mother brought Anna to the Via Cappuccino to watch her daddy play.
As the group sang and played, Anna left her table and moved into the walkway where people pass to get their coffee. She threw her head of yellow curls back and danced and twirled as the music captivated her mind.
When Anna started school, her teachers reminded her that spontaneity was not welcome in the classroom. In Middle School, she became sad, bottled up, and aggressive. One day, she got sent home for a three-day suspension.
As her father drove her home that day, he told her,
“Anna, one day ‘you will love again the stranger who was your self’.”
*****
“Tonight, we play music!”
“Come listen to me play my fiddle (…and remember that stranger!”)

Bing Photo: coolwebsiteinfo.com

Tonight at d”Verse, Kim asked  us to write a flash fiction piece of not more than 144 words. We also were asked to include this line of a poem: ‘you will love again the stranger who was your self’

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Father’s Day

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Father’s day always brings memories of my dad, who I always referred to as Pop! He was a caring and compassionate person who showed love not only to his family, but to everyone he met. He died at the age of seventy, back before heart bypass surgery was happening. Although it has been so many years, I still miss him.

Father, Dad, or Pop…
A wonderful man to me
Agape Love shown

********

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Ode To My Son

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What ever happened
to that carefree little boy;
Who loved life
and all that it entails;
Pretending to be Superman…
Wearing his red jacket for a cape;
Jumping off the steps pretending to fly?
*
Now a man…
with a son of his own;
Perhaps a little less carefree…
But, still with imagination
and sense of humor;
Caring and helpful
a great dad
Any daughter or son would love
*
No matter what life throws at us…
We must never lose our sense of wonder;
Our carefree joy of life and love;
Always imagining we will be
More than we can ever be
**********
B& W Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Goat School

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Once upon a time this goat shed held children;
A place for learning where my father taught.
Filled with desks, chairs, and cute Amish youngins’
All eight grades in one room was quite a lot.
King School //a microcosm of learning
Shaped teachers, preachers, and cute farmers’ wives.
For some, eight grades met their need for farming;
Where they worked the land the rest of their lives.
Time moved on and so have all the students;
Who never imagined what was in store.
For their little one room school house wouldn’t
Last forever // in time // would be no more
A shed for goats in the shell that is left;
Sheds no more light on America’s best.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Lillian at d’Verse, asked us to think about the many meanings of the word shed;  and write a poem of our choice. It is sad to see the school where my father started his teaching career turn into a goat shed. I attempted to write a sonnet expressing some of those feelings.

Come join us at: https://dversepoets.com

A Love Story

Hartzlerspicnic1944 Paul and Beatrice

She watched him tanned, tall, and lean
With bib overalls and a head of dark hair
Thinking how handsome he was
How strong and capable a man he had become
He was only sixteen //but gave the appearance of eighteen
His gait was long // intense // full of determination
She loved that about him // the boy/man from across the field
Smart and fun to be around // his smile was full of laughter.
There he was, driving his father’s four milk cows up her lane
To share pasture with twenty-five more
Self-conscious // she picked up her father’s tee shirt
Hanging it on the porch line strung between two posts
Glancing towards the lane she caught his attention
He waved and gave a hearty, “Hi Beatrice! How are you today!”
Tongue tied, she could only reply, “I’m fine!”
And then he was gone // on up the lane and over the hill
It was evident he was special // graduating from high school at sixteen
She // only fourteen // knew she was in love
She would wait for him and follow him to the ends of the earth…
And she did

Beatricewinter

My mom when she was in high school

In memory of my mother who lived across the field from my father when they were growing up in the early part of the last century.
Today, Bjorn asked us to look at different perspectives in poetry and write a poem that reflected that for d’Verse. I chose to write from my mother’s perspective when she and my father were both teenagers.
Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Photos: Audrey Hartzler’s family album

Still Missing Him

Pop

My father died at the young age of seventy. It doesn’t seem that old, now that I am seventy-one! Although he has been gone 36 years his memory is still fresh in my mind. His outgoing personality helped him create a wide network of lasting friends. When I was growing up, we always called him Pop. As I think back on this Father’s Day, I still miss him.

Still Missing Him

I still miss my pop
Now, thirty-six years later
Outliving him by a year
I still miss his warm smile
Encouraging me to do my best

I still miss my pop
Seems like yesterday he was here
Enjoying life and love
Reaching out to everyone he met
Welcoming them into his life

I still miss my pop
Sensitive and caring
Loving husband to my mom
Proud grandpa to my boys
He loved watching them grow

I still miss my pop
Wish he could see all that I’ve done
Knowing he would love it
Hearing him exclaim in affirmation
Knowing that he still lives in me

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Dad

 

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Alzheimer’s is the thief that keeps on stealing, slowly robbing you of all things present and finally all things past. We just returned from a visit with my wife’s father, who has been confined in an Alzheimer’s unit 2500 miles away from us. Our visits are great while we are there. He keeps remembering less and less as he now turns 91. This poem shares some of my thoughts as I reflect on our time together.

Dad

Though your mind has grown dim

Your personality is much the same

A surprised smile when we arrive

Your desire for family information…

That will not stay long in your memory

 

Your warm smile and appreciation

Always there when we visit

Always there when the staff helps you

Always there when we say goodbye

 

While we are there your joy

Is new every morning

Pockets of the past are still filled

With memory coins slowly slipping out

Through that black hole in your brain

 

Our visits are joyful // you still get my jokes

You laughter is genuine and full

Though you still ask our names from time to time

You are present in the moment // a gift every time

 

In spite of all you have been through

You have adapted and applied Paul’s words,

“In whatever state I am in //

…there I will be content.”

You won’t remember any of this

When we’re gone

But you sure enjoyed our visit

While we were with you

*******************************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

His granddaughter Jen is walking for Justice to help  young girls caught in Sex trafficking. See her story on her blog at:

https://walkingthewayforjustice.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/cafe-calvary/

 

 

 

 

 

Roots

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Roots are often hidden away under the ground. Although they provide strength and foundation for the tree, we give them little thought. When a storm causes a tree to fall we are able to see the massive root system. My mother was the root system of our family. She worked tirelessly in the background to help her husband and her family. This poem is a tribute to that strength and endurance.

Roots

Beneath every tree are roots

Holding interlocking feeding

Bringing strength foundation

The source of all beauty we see

 Looking at a tree

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You heard “Behind every man

          is a good woman.”

My mother was that good woman

Bringing a foundation of strength to our family

Feeding caring for each one

My father a pillar of the community

Became all that he could be

Because of strength and nourishment

From my mom who was always there for him

pop-and-mom-001

An unsung hero she became the roots of our tree

Without her none of us would be

Standing as we are today