Barefoot Poetry

SS Matthews

A Stranger to Love

14 Comments

I look at you now,
The mighty oak
At the end of his season.

Recall you in your prime.
Running dirt roads for pleasure-
To fleet to follow-
Chin-up contests in the backyard,
You never lost-

Are not being spoon fed
In a hospital bed
And I know you, know I,
Would not want to be here,
To die In the company of caring strangers.

So I sit at your side,
In this chair that bites my back-
And your pride,
Still too great to be broken.

I see you in myself-
And wonder
What will my children see-

When it is I unable to rise;
Staring, unable to speak,
Still not knowing
What faith will be rewarded?

You wished for your children
To respect your strengths
And we do.

I wish mine to remember my weaknesses,
My passion for their moments
Of triumph and pain-

Not the trembling hand of a stranger
They wish they’d been able to love;
A father at the time of goodbye,
Unafraid and able to speak
Whatever their hearts might hold.

Poetry by SS Matthews

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Author: SSMatthews

Author of The Moon and Rowan Wolfe and Wolfe's Banes.

14 thoughts on “A Stranger to Love

  1. Oh Scott this moved me to tears, this is so beautifully written. This is my favorite poem by you, I am blown away, absolutely blown away

    • I wasn’t out to make you cry, but I’ll take that as I sign I captured the emotion. He was a stern man and hard to get close too, but we did have our moments when he was a father and I was his son.

  2. you captured what we all feel in those last moments…no matter if stern or soft…the chair…the eyes…the loss of words…you have an ability to write very heart tugging poetry.

  3. So moving…brought back memories of my dad…thanks.

  4. Mr Matthews, you have written something very special here,
    this dad can only nod in absolute agreement, ty.

  5. I think of my mother now when I am reading this , she being taken care of by my dad.Your poem has echoed in my heart.

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