Peter Chapman Poetry

Dear Dad (Then and Now)

We are here to mark the end of your days on earth. Ashes to dust.

We know you loved us, as we loved you. We know you cared for us.

As we live and learn, we hope to understand how it's possible to visit this earth, to live among people, as we need to be private, and quiet with ourselves.

We remember how you loved to laugh. We were young, and your laughter made us feel good.

Today, as we say goodbye, I would like to remember you drifting in your boat, a soft breeze, a warm day, having a laugh and a cry, remembering how it was, in our hearts, in our eyes.


My father was 90 when he took his life. We, my brother, sister and I, had not seen him in many years. For me, 25 years. He lived alone in the Florida Panhandle. For a brief time I held on to his shower curtain, a silhouette of a nude woman, then threw it away. Per his wish, we placed his remains in a box and buried him near his mother and father in the cemetery in the small town he grew up in. I tried to read this at the grave but couldn't, then my brother and sister stood with me, and Polly read it.

May 12, 2012