Ode to David

Ode to David

February, 2016


A church teeming with friends and family

whose lives he touched

Laughter and tears

For David


Gentleness, Kindness, Goodness

Never a hurtful word about others

Found the goodness in us all

That’s David


A true caretaker,

not just of our houses, our woods, our land,

but of others


Thoughtful, caring competent

Loved his family so wholly

Sunday dinners, all would gather.


Saturdays mowing the lawn, Noreen right by his side,

complementing his work with the weed wacker

A perfect pair


Happy on his tractor

fixing a broken pump

bringing the propane fridge back to life

He worked magic

A savior to us on so many occasions


An ever ready smile

shake of the hand

his kind nod


Watched over Grandma and Grandpa as they aged

and then Mom and Dad as they grew older

Taken from us far too soon.


The Adirondacks and the world

will be emptier for all of us now

How lucky we were to have you, David

Thank you for it all.



Portland, Oregon Airport Sheraton

Late night

Young man by himself

Sitting in the hot tub, lost in thought


I join him to sit neck-deep

in the warm bubbles

Ask him where he’s from

“Vancouver–20 minutes away.

I ship out tomorrow to South Dakota.”

I am taken aback

This baby-faced boy is off to the army.

Tells me it’s been his dream for 10 years.

But he looks sad as he says this,

says the hardest thing about all of it

was saying goodbye to his parents tonight


His eyes well up

And mine start to

Thinking of all the 18-year-old goodbyes

First Ellen, then David, and me next. Debby left after me.


A generation later–Ian, Sarah, Lucas..

Each departing the family cocoon

in his or her way–a job, a bus, college, the army…

A new beginning

A monumental ending

That moment of leaping into adulthood.