My Grandma, My Friend


She was my friend, 

               my grandma


from my earliest memories

     of long car trips

               to grandma and grandpa's

          ...full of anticipation

     and fun walks, just the two of us...

     stories by a flickering stove

     and dinner 'round the table, friday night.


Always she has been here--- her and I

     sometimes in a letter

               in a thought

               or a prayer...

     but often us together

          laughing some silly side of living,

          playing checkers until late

          or talking 'bout her dad

                         the old days

                              and her life.


 As my days got busier

     I'd always look to see

                    as I passed by

     if grandma's hand was waving through the window

                    from her chair

     And I'd wave back

          and promise to myself

     I'd visit soon.

 'Cause grandma always had the time

     for an evening walk

     an unexpected lunch

     or to listen to my theories and ideas

               even if she didn't understand.

 And when I'd go

     she'd smile and say

               in grandma's gracious way

     "Do come again soon, Brent."

and I always wanted to stay

               a little longer.


How much I'd like

     to be appreciative

          like grandma was

     so genuinely interested in all of us

     always full of pleasant words

                              and smiles

               even when life was not so good.

 She blessed my life with romance

          with a mystery

          with a magic

               that even now I cant' explain

     Perhaps it was the way she laughed  

                         until she cried

          and reached for little hankies up her sleeve

     maybe her excited way

               at christmas

               or whenever there were gifts

     or the spark that passed between her

               and the boys she knew


 Was it?

     her sense of humor

     or those memories bringing sudden tears    

I don't know.

     I only know:

I miss her very much, my grandma.



Someday again I'll see her

               young and beautiful

     just like we talked about

                    so many times    

          when we would sing together 

                    with my guitar...


'cause I remember her last prayer

                              with me

"Thank you Lord for all your blessings

thank you for your care

give us strength to get to heaven

and be together there."

     But for now...

     my world is so much emptier

          realizing she's not here

                         like  yesterday...


I leave her in God's care

Though really she is with me still

     as long as I remember

                         my grandma,

                              my friend.



Watching You Grow


From the day that you joined our adventure

with a cry that has changed us for good

It's been hard to believe you're here with us

though I know by now that I should.


cause' not long ago I was little

and I talked and I walked like you do... the years that have passed I've grown older

as I see when I stand next to you.


And I know that I'll love you forever

even though we both will grow old

and I'll always thank God for the good times

I will have just watching you grow.


The way that you hug me--the glee in your eyes

"Daddy! Daddy!" when I come from work

On the floor for a tussle or a snuggled up close

to sing or to read a good book.


And all of the cute things you tell me

your expressions--the way that you pray...

are but sand in the play of the hourglass

as I watch you grow up day by day.


And I know that I'll love you forever

even though we both will grow old

and always thank God for the good times

I will have just watching you grow.


Just when I think that I know you

and understand what's in your young mind

you just keep right on growing

and I shouldn't be startled to find...


that you're ours for a few passing moments

to care for just till you're strong.

With a mind of your own deep inside you

you'll be out of the nest before long.


But you know that I'll love you forever

even though we both will grow old

and always thank God for the good times

That I had just watching you grow.


Even now in the movies and albums

you were much different before.

I can't help but think to the future

when you won't be my little one more.


And I must now in life's busy matrix

take more time to share in your games

for I know I can't hold you forever

because always I'm watching you change.


But you know that I'll love you forever

even though we both will grow old

But I'll always thank God for the good times

I have had just watching you grow.


     ***Brent 4-11-97


Dustin's first Christmas 

So little and alluring

my watchful Dustin friend

lying there all quiet

as if time had no end.


Your eyes twinkle so brightly

and glisten with the light

a thousand Christmas lamps it seems

reflected there tonight.


I wonder at your dreamy gaze

your cute face so intent...

for you don't know the happiness

of all the times I've spent.


And yet your deep reflection...

I guess I'm not aware

What thoughts are dancing from the glow

         and sparkling colors there.


Someday you will tell me this:

that you cannot remember

your silent contemplation

this night in December.


But Someone knows your pondering thought     

and shares your wistful sigh

so listen careful little one

His presence is nearby.


And darkness like you've known before...?

it's really only light

the same that hallows Christmas

and the wonder of tonight.


So, keep on dreaming little one

it's times like this we'll treasure

'cause quiet, beauty, and a friend

are wealth beyond all measure.



Animals All in a Row


On the way to work this morning

    I guess I didn't notice cause'

I tripped on a giraffe

     near a chubby hand

and animals all in a row

          on the kitchen floor.


"Come on Dad!  The hippopotimus needs a drink." 

                            It would only take a minute.

 "I have to eat."  I kiss him and set up the fallen giraffe.


Somewhere between the elephant and the panda bear...

     his arm went into his good shirt

     his foot in a shoe

and animals all in a row

          on the kitchen floor.


"Can you help me Dad?  The gazelle doesn't stand up very well

                                            ..the lion cub wants breakfast."

 "We have to hurry." I comb his hair.  "We'll be late for church."


On a sleepy journey to the bathroom

     I saw them in the night light

animals all in a row

          on the kitchen floor.


"Come on Dad!"  His sweet voice echoed in my mind...but

his precious little arms

     were wrapped about Simba

          His thoughts in dreams.


"Help me Dad!"  His voice drifts

     into my subconscience

          at the computer. 

I peer around the corner

     to see his limber little form

          spralled and intertwined

with animals all in a row

          on the kitchen floor.


"The dinosaur and the polar bear cub need a bath."  I hug him.

                                "And it's time for your nap sweetheart"

 I rub his back. "We've got to go shopping"

 I ruffle his hair. "We've got to go......"


 On the way to work this morning

     there was something strange

The animals were gone!     

"What!"  I cried. "Where did they go?

         I want to give the water buffalo a bath

              feed the cows

                    and chat a bit with the gorilla."

But there were no animals

                    all in a row

on the kitchen floor.


Just today he walked through the kitchen.

"What are you doing Dad?" He asked.

"Come on Son!  The hippopotimus needs a drink

     and the giraffe doesn't stand up very well."  I ventured.


"That's silly Dad!"  He slugged me in the shoulder. 

                "Mom's taking me to a ball game. See ya!"


        Then they were gone and left me

with the animals all in a row

                    on the kitchen floor.


     ***Brent 1994


Many Years


When I was a boy

I wonder if my daddy thought

The things I think of you?

Did he long to have me close

And to share his soul with me

Did he want to win my heart

Many years ago?


Since I became a man

Do I reach towards daddy still

Like you do me?

Does he yet need my love

And open touch?

And I still his

Though many years have past?


When I am old

Will I think the world of you

As I do now?

And will you hold me tight

Within your heart and grasp?

Will we share the magic still

Many years from now?

                  ***Brent 2007


For You Dad

What can be said   

    To the dad in one's life

That hasn't already been said

Is there a magical phrase    

    Or rhyme

That can thank him sufficiently

        For all he is 

        For all he has done


I searched through my mind

    And my books of inspiration

I looked

    But the words were not there

Perhaps though

    The greatest joy for you dad

Lies not in words

    But rests in knowing

        That your integrity

        That your faithfulness

    Passes on 

To generations beyond your grasp


For my children 

    Will look up to me 

And search

    For words of appreciation

        For my security

        For my encouragement

        For my friendship

But they will really be thanking you.