Bill Mann

[In January 1995 my Uncle Bill died in Carmel. The following was a poem written in a matter of minutes while I wated for the time of his memorial service].

Let me tell you about a Mann
I don't mean your sissy regular man
but a special model.
You know, the type with the double "N"

If he were a car, he be the upgraded heavy duty model
code named in the industry as the "William H"
developed in secrecy
and held under tight security
lest others try to duplicate the goods. 

He's big stuff,
but you'd never know it from the Mann himself
He'd rather just not talk about it,
believed you jest did it...
and don't brag.

He commanded men
made war upon the enemy with blazing guns
and terrifying bombs
over a lonely sea.
Did they shoot at you, Bill?
Were you scared?
We'll never know since he won't elaborate
A man of few words,
and those were usually mumbled 

A delicate whoosh of a gossamer line
the silent splash of a fly
on a rushing mountain stream
Come On Up!
He was in his heaven.

He raised two sons and a daughter
with reserve 
but deep love
and he was proud...proud
but you'd hardly know it
A man of few words....

This Mann had hands,
strong capable hands
hands that made things
in gold and porcelain, 
in wood, and metal
The birrrr of the drill,
the whine of the saw
the smell of cedar.
A man of few words.

And how he loved his Margery
There wasn't nothing he would't do for her.
But he's grumble more than a bit
and say something was too dear
But next week it would be there.
For her.

This Mann was dignity,
the very definition of it.
Strength of character.
But humor lurked
and a smile and a twinkle of the eye
(if you were lucky and paid attention).

We'll miss you Bill