Seeing a father with his wife and child, the author thinks of his own, and in his mind swears allegiance to that child whatever storms the world may throw, He will protect his child.
What A Man Is
© John Libertus
I saw them on the sidewalk, man and wife and little girl,
and, like the rightful man I am, I smiled
at the little girl's sweet innocence,
and glanced at the man;
he wore a workman's cap, his body had the look
of muscle that has learned
the lean, hard lesson of the bone;
he saw me there,
a young old man, standing by the library door,
and something in my gaze gained his respect;
he nodded once, as to an equal;
I nodded back, the single nod that honors:
I saw that those he walked with
had the gift of all he had;
and, suddenly, I knew
his wife's fear for his fragile, sweet, tough frame,
and her treasure, in the rightness of his way.
I saw in him, born of his love for them,
the fire inside, eternal:
the will indomitable, that would not swerve
from its sweet choice of sheltering,
though nightmare come;
that, in the end, would interpose itself, as shield
against that cold, relentless wind
that blows flesh, hope, the very bone away.
Sweet chariot of flame,
this golden passion of the clay:
My child, I give me: I am yours forever;
My Darling! though the world should pass away.
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