The Quiet Man
Helen Dowd

In memory of my husband's dad – for Father's Day

Pete was a very quiet man.
He didn’t talk too much.
Whenever neighbours came his way,
their hands he’d firmly clutch.

His smile would stretch from ear to ear.
He’d say, “How do you do?”
And then he’d simply stand there,
Leaving talking up to you.

While Pete was still of working age,
He did a lot of things:
Like chicken farming, carpentry,
but his favourite, gardening.

Pete was a very private man,
So hard to get to know.
He wasn’t much for socializing,
And he wasn’t much for show.

When Pete was nearing thirty five,
a bachelor, still was he.
But then he met a charming nurse.
She said her name was, “Bea.”

He said, “I’ve finally met the one
I’d like to make my wife.”
So shyly he approached her,
asking her to share his life.

They made a very lovely pair,
shy Pete and bubbly Bea.
Life now was filled with meaning:
They fit together, perfectly.

Pete fathered just two children,
a daughter and a son.
‘Though life was never easy,
Bea made it lots of fun.

Too soon the children went away
to build lives of their own.
Too soon Bea died of cancer,
leaving Pete alone, to mourn.

'Though the quiet man is now gone too,
his spirit still is here.
Just sit in his son's garden,
and Pete's soft voice you will hear.

You'll hear him in the snowdrops,
peeking shyly through the snow.
You'll hear him in the crocuses
as they begin to grow.

In the happy little pansies
that smile up at the sun,
you'll hear his quiet whispering,
"I'm proud of you, my son."

In the lettuce, peas, and radishes
growing healthy, one by one,
You can hear Pete's pleased voice saying:
"My son, well done! Well done!

© Helen Dowd


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