Standing on the Porch
Russell Tuck Sr
I see a kind old gentleman, who stands so straight and tall,
Upon the weather-beaten porch waiting for his friend to call.
There is a special twinkle in those eyes that seem so bright:
As the sun slowly eases down to portend the coming night.
Others may have withered soul, confined to bed or chair,
With eyes that only seem to have a sad, weak and vacant stare.
I see him looking o’er the hill like those, when just a boy,
He had romped and played “Make Believe,” hills that brought him so much joy.
His heart now filled with memories of pleasures and of trials,
As well as those who shared with him, while he trod those many miles.
He recalls all the happiness they’d known throughout the years:
And of “Goodbyes” that had to come, though said through quiet tears.
Beyond those hills he overlooks, are mounts he had to scale:
With rocks he once stepped upon to advance … or slip and fail.
And further beyond that mountain he sees the evening sun.
He has almost reached the summit: his journey is nearly done.
The sun he now sees is crimson, he knows that Christ has said:
The coming day no storm shall be, for the evening sky is red.
Though some, to pity may be moved for him they think they see:
Instead they should rejoice with him with faith in what’s to be.
Yes, standing on the porch of life, his heart so full of love:
I see a smile upon his lips: as he sees his friend above.
I was only five when ‘Papa’, my grandfather, died. Although I was young I remember him quite well, and very fondly. My mom had to work when I was little, so my grandparents watched me during the week. My grandparents also would pick me up on Sunday mornings for Sunday School. We were very close, and he was a very kind man. He was a teacher, not formally, but he taught his grandkids. He would always tell me stories from the Bible, he would draw pictures for me to learn to color in, he would record ‘interviews’ with me on tape and ask me questions about my life. Like I said, he was a very kind man.
He also wrote a lot of poetry. Standing on the Porch is a poem that my grandfather wrote. According to my mom, it was the last poem he ever wrote, and, while it was dedicated to a friend in a nursing home, the family believes it was written in anticipation of his own death. I am in no way a poet or even remotely qualified to critique poetry, but I will say, in my literary ignorance, that I love this poem, and I hope that when I face the end of this life that I can say with the same hope and faith as my grandfather, that I am ready and eager to be with my “Friend Above.”