Sunday, December 19, 2010

Poem as eulogy and celebration of family ties

My Tucson son, Kevin Michael Patrick Shay, the poet and theatre guy, wrote the following poem for his godfather, Patrick Kevin Shay. I read it as part of the memorial service for my brother on Dec. 13.


We are Shay
We are surfers and fishermen
Captains and sand flea enthusiasts
We are collegiate
We are Navy
We are doctors and nurses
We are bandages in one hand
That covers the wound made by the knife in the other

We aren't always the best
At saying no or goodbye
Pushing whatever it may be
Back across the table and into
The back of our minds
Away with us never means forgotten
Shimmering delicately on the edges
Of our overactive subconscious minds

But we remain warriors
Women and men with blood thick
Like hot pitch cascading over the sides
Of castles
Onto enemies mostly defeated
Some remain
Edging their way in and laying siege
They seem overly capable of finding
The most sensitive parts
And sword-plunging through tearing

We are multitude
Thousands of bright candles floating
Across a crystal pond
Water moccasins shivering away from the heat
Gators meandering to some safer bank
Manatees gliding soft
Edging and urging along our lights
With silent swoops of blue-grey tails

We are singular and stand out
Bellowing pride
In politics and sports and intellect
The young and old cohesive
In family's stalwart and commanding glue

We are one

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