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Two Poems for Father’s Day

June 18, 2017


NOTE:  While I am preparing an extra post on Wordwalk for Father’s Day, fireworks are bedazzling the sky over the lakefront for Polish Fest in Milwaukee.  Perhaps, the fireworks displays of this weekend also celebrate all the good and special fathers on their holiday.


As a writer, my greatest challenge is capturing the essence of my remarkable dad in a poem or memoir.  My second greatest challenge is writing about a holiday, such as Father’s Day, in a fresh and innovative way.  After this first lengthy poem, you will find the very short acrostic poem which I posted for Father’s Day of 2014.



Stanzas for My Dad on Father’s Day


(Dedicated with love to James F. Massa, 1913-1997)



by his daughter Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Three weeks before Father’s Day,

the commercials begin

to remind me of Father’s Day

and your absence,

not your presence;

yet, after these twenty years of your absence,

I still think of presents

to give to you

for your years of fatherhood.

In 1947,

you first became a father.

From 1950 to 1997,

you were my father–

and still you are my father–

forever father,

who wanted to give me the world,

but your love and devotion were more,

my gifts from you then and always.


Now, what presents can I give to you?

Cut flowers in red, white, and blue

upon your tombstone,

engraved with your favorite hummingbird

and the irises of our home.

Can I give you these stanzas,

these words from my heart

for your all too short

fifty years of fatherhood,

84 years of life?

What can I give to you

when I know you still give to me?


Gently and melodiously,

the coos of the mourning dove

sing your presence.

I hear you

in this mourning dove.

I have felt you

in a velvet breeze

against my face.


That day at the post office,

when I needed an answer from you,

I asked a stranger

what number was on

my waiting-in-line slip.


the stranger replied.

Quiet tears filled my eyes

because I knew that you–

forever age eighty-four–

had given me an answer,

had found a way

to tell me

in solid black and white

that all will be well.

I keep that numbered slip–


in the wallet

your grandson made for me.

That slip of post office paper

reminds me

that if I really listen

and am aware,


as ever,

are always there

and here for me:

you still give me your presence


than I can give you presents

of everlasting gratitude

in these three words:

Happy Father’s Day!



The Tender of Our Family Tree: 


Honoring My Dad on Father’s Day


(An Acrostic Poem in Loving memory of James F. Massa, 1913-1997)


by his daughter Alice Jane-Marie Massa



NOTE:  Joining together the initial letter of each line of this very short poem spells the word “father.”



Forever Father, you planted  a beautiful family tree–


Always nurturing, always there, always trusty.


Tender-hearted Dad, are you looking down, watching me?


Hat ever-present (your trademark), slightly askew–


Everlasting memories bring your smile and you back to me.


Refresh, dear Dad, our family tree on your day–each Father’s Day–and always.


POST-SCRIPT:  On this June 18, 2017, my Uncle Jules, youngest of my dad’s three brothers, will celebrate not only Father’s Day with his family in California, but will also celebrate his 91st birthday.  Best wishes on your special birthday, Uncle Jules!


God bless all the fathers on our family tree and your family tree, also!


Wishing my Wordwalk readers a blessed and Happy Fathers’ Day,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


June 18, 2017, Sunday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Ann Chiappetta permalink

    Hi Alice,

    Thank you so much for these poems. Our Dad was 81.



  2. Marla Iacoli permalink

    Beautiful poems given to a Wonderful Father from a Loving Daughter! So touching and beautiful, Alice.

  3. mfanyo permalink

    Thanks so much, Alice, for remembering our dear Dad with lovely poems that only you can create. Just one week before Father’s Day this year I was happy to be able to visit Dad and Mother’s gravesite in Indiana as well as drive by our beautiful home. What precious memories!
    Love, Mary

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