Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Poem for Father's Day: My Father's Photos

Today is Father's Day and I've been thinking a lot about my father's life. One thing (among many) I've learned from him is how you have to seize your dreams.

He was a great photographer and yet never pursued it. He took the safe route as an accountant for the IRS,

In some ways I am grateful...but then I wonder...

Six and half years ago, when he was just about to get on with his life -- after years of a horrible marriage -- he was hit with an aneurysm that he has never fully recovered from. Even after all this time he is not the same man. It is like a stranger invaded his body. So in a way a large part of him has died -- his former self and personality -- but he is still alive.

I wrote this poem for him a while back to celebrate his talent and sacrifice.




My father
was an
for the

Every day of his working life
he dealt with

But I believe deep in his
he wanted
to be a photographer.

His love took seed
during his stint in the Navy.
He served as a photographer on an aircraft carrier
lovingly documenting
plane landings,
life at sea
and the exotic places they visited:
Taiwan and

Later he showed
the same care in documenting
our family's lives with thousand upon thousands
of photos.

Every step we took from the cradle,
every birthday,
every occasion,
my father was there
capturing snapshots.

The documents of our past,
the photos
now sit in boxes in
the closet of my father's den room
like forgotten artifacts
collecting dust.

The other day
I pulled one of the boxes out
and looked at the photos.
Faces of my youth
stared back at me
shot with such care and love.

I wondered why my dad shelved
our photos.
I asked him but he wouldn't say.

He's retired now
but still the photos sit untouched in the boxes.
I even bought him a photo album
but he just put it in one of the boxes.

I think the photos
remind him he put aside his true love
to crunch numbers.
They represent a picture of sadness and regrets.

His dream is languishing
piled in cardboard boxes
captured in pictures of our family's past.

George Pappas
Copyright 2009

1 comment:

mari said...

Amazing George, love your poem...the way you describe your father, Its very touching...I had tears in my eyes...very moving...You are a great writer.