Poets' Corner: Rosemerry For Father's Day!
When World War II began, advertisers argued that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was definitely a national institution. However, in 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day an official federal holiday at last.
The third Sunday of June is now all about celebrating the many ways fathers and father figures make a positive difference in the lives of their offspring – although some fathers are saints; some Santini. Some can be both on different days.
Or, as in Word Woman Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer‘s singular case, he is simply the man the who was saved from drowning, who was then and is now drowning in love, hers and so many others.
Of note from Rosemerry: “The man who saved my father seven years ago is now also a father and he and my father have since become great friends and fishing buddies.”
Honor thy father?
Rosemerry’s gift-wrapped words certainly do.
That Winter Evening
for Billy Miller, remembering events on January 4, 2012.
When the man pulled my father from the icy waters of Lake Michigan
he did not know years later my step-daughter
would need someone to buy her a sweater
so she would feel nurtured, did not know
that my son would need someone
to make a mosaic with him so that he
could feel loved, did not know
that my daughter would need
someone to tell her that she
was beautiful. When the man
pulled my father out of the water—
my dad had been fishing alone—
that off-duty fireman couldn’t have known
that years later this very daughter
would sit beside her father and hold his hand
and weep at the simple gift
of being able to hold his hand.
The fireman was doing what he knew to do—
to rush to the person in need of help.
He didn’t think then of the other lives
blessed by the man. Did not think
of the other lives he blessed with his hands
when he chose to try, though the odds
of saving the man were low.
He knew only to reach.
Years later, my mother still sleeps
beside the man that was pulled
from the winter lake.
Give us hands that know to reach
for each other—stranger, neighbor,
friend. Give us hands that unthinkingly
choose to save the family
we’ve never met.