George Wood

Daddy, Daddy, Please hold on,
Just a little longer
Till Mom and Don get here
I'm sure you're looking stronger

Your eyes are closed
Your skin's as white as winter's snow
There can't be much strength left
beneath the sheets, I know

Can you hear me?
Can you hear a daughter's whispered cry
Of how I love and care for you
Me, the apple of your eye

Milburn, Ivy, Arrnold
You were the baby, named after Dad
Do you remember your sisters who died?
I'm sure that made you sad

Pneumonia took your pop
When you were only ten
There was nothing they could do
They had no miracle medicine then

Clebit, Oklahoma
A lumber town up in the hills
Dirt roads and rough cabins
Little church and moonshine stills

A boy of ten plus eight, working in the woods
Driving a team of mules,
Big responsibility for a kid
Not much time for schools

Dragging loblolly pine to the mill
Dangerous work in the muck
But it was work during hard times
Having a job at all was good luck

Your country called to fight a war
They taught you to fire a big gun
Afraid, like everyone, you did your job
And were glad when it was done.

Coming home, you found my Mom
Or probably she found you
So shy, you hardly spoke
But you made it last, you two

California, Oregon
You traded mules for tons of clanking steel
The D8 made the mountains shake
Those trees were the family meal

You built the roads, pulled the logs
for nearly forty years come rain or shine,
From snow melt till autumn's frost
I thought all dads were unemployed in wintertime

First me then Don, you cared for us
until we were all but grown
Half of us is you,
And that part's as solid as a stone

Daddy, You didn't speak so very much
A deep south twang as thick as honey on corn bread
Not prone to praise or criticize
But we felt the love that was un-said.

A major conversation went like this
"George, how's your dinner?"
"OK, I guess " is all you'd say,
Like an English language beginner

but we all knew what you meant
"Juanita, it's wonderful, the very best,
And thanks for all you've done for me
It's great this meal, and all the rest"

The years went by
Your hair and teeth were put aside
"Daddy" was replaced by "Gramps"
New babes to swell your pride

So Daddy, that's how it was
But now they've come, we're here
All togther now
The four of us, so near

It's OK now to go
Can you hear me?
Remember you'll always have our love
Wherever you may be

Your breath is short
We hear you labor on
But now a stillness rests on you
I think my Daddy's gone

What will say your epitaph?
You did the best you can
And earned the highest praise of all....
"George was a very good man"