We Seldom Heard You Sing
A Eulogy for my Father
William Edward Fitzpatrick
We seldom heard you sing;
Salesman, Self-taught Pianist.
though on those rare occasions
your voice soulfully rang out
“The Green, Green Grass of Home”,
as tears came to your eyes.
I remember weekend afternoons;
As we listened to Irish music on WROL
with the hood up
and your hands dirtied to the elbows
as you kept a long parade of cars running,
but just barely.
We were very young;
Disc Jockey, Carpenter,
as we sat in a house you were always repairing
and listened to your voice on the gigantic radio
that was always placed so high out of reach
in our kitchen.
I was much older;
Fisherman, Indiscriminate Collector,
when I realized
you were only human after all,
and not the Super-Hero
I had always thought you to be.
I was older still;
Best Man, Chocolate Addict,
when I realized
I admired you anyway
and asked you to stand with me
as I wed my beautiful wife.
Dollhouse Architect, Maker of Funny Voices,
you acquired a new group of fans:
your childrens’ children,
calling you Grandpa as you built miniature Masterpieces,
and talked like Donald Duck
to their (and our) delight.
I can’t yet believe;
Innkeeper, Fixer of Broken Things, Launderer Extraordinaire,
that I won’t hear your voice on the phone
or see you folding towels
in your workroom
surrounded by the clutter of your hobbies.
But you live still in us;
in your Youngest’s Artistic Talent,
in your Oldest’s Tenacity (and love of Chocolate),
and in my
love of Humor,
and Making Funny Voices.
And as we say Goodbye,
tears come to our eyes,
as we lie you ‘neath the Green, Green Grass of Home.