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The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Friday, December 27, 2002

A Poem for My Late Father

My father died Dec. 14; his funeral was one week ago today. I wrote a poem for the occasion, and have been asked several times for it since. So I thought I would publish it here. I wish I had started Loomis Boy before now, so that this wouldn't have to be one of the first posts, but I can't do anything about the timing. I also delivered the eulogy; perhaps in the future I will share portions here. The farm alluded to in the poem is about 1.5 miles from my current home.

Another Task At Hand

My Daddy strides across the farm,
His steps are long and fast today.
“Another task at hand” he says.
I won’t get in the way.

I watch him lay a small calf down,
His hands are large and strong.
She gets a dose of medicine.
I’ll bet he’s never wrong.

We tighten fence wire, straighten posts;
I think his arms are made of steel.
“That pig won’t bust through here again,”
He laughs, and gives a funny squeal.

Daddy walks across the room to me,
His handshake warm and slow.
“Another task at hand?” he asks.
He’s come to see me go.

We talk of plans and ventures grand
The life I hope to start.
He speaks of dreams we share today
I feel the measure of his heart.

We slowly walk until we part.
His eyes a quiet pool.
“We know you’ll do your best,” he says
“It’s why you went to school.”

Dad looks up from his easy chair
He tries to rise to greet me.
“Rest yourself,” I tell him now.
“It’s you I’ve come to see.”

I hold his hand now as I talk.
It seems so small, so frail.
His words must travel through a fog
That seldom lifts above the trail.

Our times are mostly quiet now,
Shared presence needs no sound.
There’s another task at hand for him,
To stride across to holy ground.

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