by Roy Edwards
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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My father, Benjamn Creighton Edwards.
He sailed the grey ships when the sea spewed blood beneath an eagle sky. And the decks ran dripping with the spilling gut shot entrails of his friends.
Guns thundered and a ship died. Keeling over into the pink foaming sea. When the grey shark sank, he survived. When the dice rolled, he played his hand to the end.
Killing to live to survive, and when it was over, waking in fear to hear only the echo of dead men screaming within his mind. Crying out that he could face no more the blood and pain of war. Yet he ever returned to ride the grey hounds into hell.
A hard man, at times a cruel man, ever, a lost man. Nor was the pain he caused of his doing. For at times he knew not what he did. He was there when the first bugle blew, at the carnage end.
His medal lay within shattered dreams. In truth, his country cast him aside. This man who once rode the grey steel mare. For a time none dare walk his shadow, until a shadow he became.
Yet before that time, he walked tall, stepping aside for none. And I loved him, for I was his only son. He gave me no books or pleasing toys. His hands often lay heavy upon me. He was a man who taught me how to survive in a world of men. For this gift, this one alone, I thank you Ben. More than you can know.
The worms have eaten you, your flesh is gone. Perhaps none will know that in me, your son, a touch of you still lives on.
For I love the sea and the grey ships wild. Midst a world of madness I have survived.
From you Ben, I inherited a searching mind that has found whatever you did seek.
And in spirit I am free.
Your life has not been in vain.
Copyright: Roy E Edwards, 1978.
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|Reviewed by Connie Faust
|This is a dramatic and touching poem. With no frills, you've described the mettle of a man, your own father. You seem to have great understanding of who he was, and why. I believe he would have approved of this tribute from his only son.