|Gregory Rodriquez, Nov. 22, 1922 - June 1, 1996.|
Photo taken circa 1945.
when I say my own name out loud,
so sometimes I say it repeatedly
while alone inside my house.
It helps me to remember him
after all these years A.D.,
and more dearly to appreciate
all the good he gave to me.
My father was a complex man,
riven by experiences of war,
survivor of a prison camp
where he lived through hell and horror.
Haunted by the ghosts of friends,
and enemies that he slew,
he revisited war time terrors nightly
when he dreamed of them anew.
A man of strength to the end of life,
he steadfastly refused to succumb
to life's punishing rod and constant pain
that would leave other men numb.
A pious man, strong of faith in god,
he showed his children how to walk
with humility of the unshod.
When I hear my father's voice,
see his face in my own,
I know that I am coming close,
a few steps nearer home.
© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012