A flag for my dad

You brought me home, when I arrived
Pushed my pram, so proud you cried

You fed and bathed me, and as I grew
Taught me everything, you thought you knew

You propped and pushed, till I could stand
In every need, you lent your hand

You kept me safe, yet let me fall
Fail then learn, made me strong and tall

You held me close, and threw me high
And so I believed that I could fly

My friend and hero, you came to be
You would always be there for me

Show me to fish and ride a bike
How to speak to a girl I might like

To speak no ill, to respect the land
To do what’s right, to be a man

But I’m not a man yet, still just a boy
A shattered heart that’s lost its joy

You’d want me to be strong, but try as I might
I cannot see, how this can be right

We’ll miss all those times that we should have had
A carefully folded flag, in return for my dad.

 

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A flag for my dad

Eight-year-old Christian Golczynski accepts the flag for his father, Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, during a memorial service. Marc Golczynski was shot on patrol during his second tour in Iraq (which he had volunteered for) just a few weeks before he was due to return home.
Image by Daily News Journal, Aaron Thompson, File / AP

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Small Stone 2013-05-07 Chooks in the City

Noah had been persistent for a few days.
Through the noisy fog of my normally overwrought parenting brain, I hadn’t seen clearly.

“Can I put some of their food on the grass?”
(We have no grass inside our city-home fence. The only grass is the council verge by the road.)
“Hang on Noah, I’d need to be with you and I’m a bit busy right now.”
(Wash/fold clothes while the sun is out, do dishes before the cockies discover them, get day bag ready for going out, ring mum back, need to buy some birthday cards, Amelie’s hat is missing, kids need new bigger shoes, … I wish I had a female brain)

“Come on, dad!”

Watching him feed the chooks that I’d let loose out front.
Confidence growing, getting closer, discovering the wonder of hand-feeding an animal.

Something you can’t rush has the curious knack of calming your mind.

Then it finally clicked …
My “being with him” was his unspoken wish.

The rest of our day was spent adventuring on buses and trains, building rock fortresses in creeks, riding on Brisbane’s ferris wheel at South Bank, and eating poffertjes.

 

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