By:  John Petersen


This is my Daddy’s picture, holding me close, his love in that big smile,

giving me all of his free time, wasn’t a lot, he took an inch and went a mile.

Simple things like playing catch and building living room forts so scary,

flashlights with a dying battery made all things incredibly hairy!

The Sunday off, no matter how tired Daddy would be,

Up at the break of dawn to whip up waffles for Mommy and me!

We’d squeeze everything we needed into the old car we had,

for a trip to the beach or park or even up to visit Grand Mom and Dad.

This picture stays by my nightlight, as I’m afraid of the dark,

knowing Daddy is there lets me sleep through even the dog’s bark.

This is my Daddy’s picture, so big in the living room,

Tall and proud he stands, full uniform, no hint of gloom.

His smile so big, no doubt meant for Mommy and me,

I know from what Mom told me he’s in a place not so friendly.

A place where what she calls the ‘enemy’ desires to, for their beliefs, kill,

to keep in place their ancient beliefs and preserve their will.

Daddy is there to ensure freedom for all, this I’m old enough to know,

And I know he’ll continue to do this, for all the years coming as I continue to grow.

There comes a knock at the door…

The days of crying, remembrances, what memories I will never let go,

the picture by my nightlight, in the living room he defends all foe.

I know my endless tears will never call Daddy back to comfort Mommy and me,

I know that my Daddy stood up for what is right for everyone, you see.

From what I was told, Daddy never even thought of backing away,

he protected his fellow mates as he would Mommy and I any day.

This is my Daddies flag… Above the fireplace mantle, surrounded by other items and such,

yet perfectly centered, lightly dusted yet otherwise untouched.

Of all things also on the mantle, just to the right, for all to see,

is the catcher’s mitt my Dad gave to me.

I refuse to move it, forbid anyone to try and do so,

I caught my first ball with this mitt from my Dad’s mighty throw.

He will always be here for Mommy and I, my prayers have told me so,

Our Guardian Angle, in the living room so big, smiling, and bold.


A native of Nebraska, I have lived in Southern California since 1970. I graduated high school in ’81 and went straight into the Navy, Machinist Mate being my trade, all commands I served on were Pacific theater. After 12 years active and 22 years inactive reserve, I now manage a dry ice plant for Airgas.


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