I debated whether I wanted to post the poem I wrote for my pop-in-law Mr. Mark. My husband Marcus read it aloud at his memorial last week because I couldn’t get through it without crying. It seemed like a private thing–something just shared between me and the people at his memorial.
But then today, I thought, “What would Mr. Mark want?”
Not hard to guess. He’d want it posted. Mr. Mark would be thrilled that a poem was written about him.
Then, after logging onto Twitter this morning, I discovered that it’s World Poetry Day. Another push from the universe.
So, here it is.
What Do You Say?
What do you say to a man who is so honest he sometimes shocks you?
You say, I like you
What do you say to a man who always makes room for one more at the table?
You say, I admire you
What do you say to a man who sometimes makes you sad or mad or cry?
You say, I forgive you
What do you say to a man who smiles when he sees you, no matter how bad he feels?
You say, I cherish you
What do you say to a man who loves you with all his heart, and he’s got one great big ol’ heart?
You say, I love you…too
What do you say to a man who left you with so many stories, love, and laughter?
You say, I’ll remember you…always
The photo above is one of my favorite photos of Mr. Mark. It’s from last December, on his birthday, and he’s modeling the leg warmers (Kathy Ireland brand!) that Marcus and I gifted him. This is the way I want to remember him: laughing and making us laugh.
You’ll always be the Man of the Hour, Mr. Mark. I love you. I miss you.
Peg Cheng is the author of The Contenders, a middle-grade novel centered on the question, can enemies become friends? She is currently writing another novel that is a re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale set in 1980s Seattle. Peg is also a writing coach giving help, encouragement, and feedback to writers from all walks of life.