My children will say this of their Dad,
he was a kind and gentle soul.
He really wasn’t all that bad,
my children will say this of their Dad.
Full of mirth, yet sort of sad,
a perfect model in that role!
My children will say this of their Dad,
he was a kind and gentle soul.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 13: Family


A few years back and I remember,
it was in May and not December,
a daughter bride, a father’s pride
and an honored sister there in stride.

A beauty, like her sister is,
fully grown, she’ll soon be his.
A loving daughter, kind and smart
a special place in Daddy’s heart!.

Down the aisle I will walk her,
bittersweet, but I will walk her,
another day to give her hand,
again the second luckiest man!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 13: Family


I saw my father this morning.
It caught me off guard,
without warning, without any
precognition. The man’s been dead.

Over ten years gone, and though
I long for one moment more,
it underscores my dilemma.
I saw my father this morning.

His craggy morning beard
clearly heard when he’d scratch his chin.
Internal debate whether to shave it,
or save it another day, who’s to say?

The wrinkles around his eyes
that grew greater when pater smiled.
He had a great smile, and while he was alive
would strive to flash it at every turn.

I’d learn his way and his charm came
along with his name, my grandfather
bore both, so I am told. Too old
to remember him, but dad was clear.

I saw my father this morning.
He of the wise old face and cleft chin,
he of the exuberant grin, carpenter hands
the texture of leather caused by weather and life.

Hard knocks smart, an old fart with humor
and the aplomb to use it, sometimes abuse it
along with us and my mother. A man of another
time and age, sage with advice and super nice

when the smoky brown bottle stayed away.
Not to say it was right, but it might explain
some of his apparent flaws. It gnaws at me.
I saw my father this morning.

The man’s been dead, that has been said.
But as I look in the mirror and scratch my craggy chin
in debate and count my crow’s feet framed eyes, I have to smile.
I saw my father this morning. I see him every morning.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 13: Family



I knew him in his later years,
amidst fears of this craggy old-man
with the pronounced limp.
I had no knock against the man,
even though he tried prodding me into it.
“Knock on my leg!” he’d harass me,
and it would embarrass me to shy away.
He’d rap his knuckles against his shin.
The sound stayed with me. Knock on wood!
Old photographs of my grandmother
and her siblings emerge and a surge of
a phantom spasm rose up my right leg.
Uncle Frank and his dog in frame,
five legs and a wooden pole.
Legends find their truth; even in family re-telling.
Frank always explored the railroad tracks
that ran behind the house. Against all warning,
one morning they found a delirious Frank pleading,
bleeding profusely from his severed appendage.
On the flatbed of the family truck he was carted,
as he started begging his father not to punish.
My great-grandfather asked one question:
“After disobeying me, will you do it again?”
A lesson learned at a great price.
The resounding of knuckles against
a wooden prosthetic was punishment enough.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 13: Family


Sisters in the truest sense of the word.
Seven years removed, but time
has a way of balancing things.
Andrea two inches taller
than her older sister is more wise,
But, it comes as no surprise
how the chasm in time has found a way
to heal itself. Equals in every way,
sharing in a vague sense of the word, but
never at a loss for a friend.
Of a single mind and purpose,
they’ve worked out of the same closet,
and offered the support for
lives that have so far given
all they could have wanted.
Safe homes, a loving father,
a caring mother, and each other.
A brother in the husband Melissa brings,
with Andrea soon to add another “brother” to the mix,
siblings in tandem, the grandest expression of love!
Teacher and student, in no
particular order. Sister supporters,
Daddy’s “Little” girls.
In the garden of my life, my TWO American Beauty Roses,
Melissa and Andrea.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik

Poetic Asides 2017 April PAD – Day 13: Family



“…someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo!”
~ from Simon & Garfunkel’s “At The Zoo”
Cramped quarters, and crowded to overflow,
you never know how these things are planned.
As it would stand, the animals had little say.
It was sad and upsetting in a way,
that the keepers made the choices and
those without voices had little to say.
The variety of the species was intriguing,
in a league all their own, over-blown
in scope, and that left little to say.
Everyday, the wild ones were forced into domesticity,
a simplicity to those cracking the whip. The zookeeper
fond of rum indeed, due to breeding and nothing constructive to say.
Four young lions, strong in spirit and vision,
but always in division over their birth right
and wrong as it sounded, they had little to say.
Gazelles, graceful and girlish, flanked the habitat,
concerned with this and that, did strive to survive the onslaught,
but, they ought to have been allowed more to say.
When it was feeding time “at the zoo”, the milieu
benefited the fittest, as we crowded around the dinner table.
You could label us as you wish, but each dish had something to say.
Life at  “the zoo” offered sanctuary, with nary a worry,
for family gave you more than we “beasts” expected.
We were well protected, and that said it all.
(C) Walter J. Wojtanik