For Opa

A baby

Born to the fertile fields of Hessen 

His mother’s youngest son

A servant of the seasons 

And keeper of the chickens

A boy

Young, innocent and full of life

Blue eyes shining bright 

Suddenly surrounded by the fight 

As darkness swallowed light 

A student 

Sent away across the sea

To a foreign land to study

Where a person could be free

From fear and tyranny 

A young man 

With a passport and a ticket

Left home to board a ship

On a one way trip

Not looking for courtship

A romantic 

Met a beautiful girl

Bright face and blond curls 

And cherished like a Pearl

Chose to share their world 

An immigrant 

Began working in a factory

Surrounded by machinery 

Then drafted to the army 

Shipped away from family 

A man 

Working hard every day

With little time to play

And many bills to pay

Never once did stray 

A father 

Providing for his kin 

Built a home to live in

And every day from then 

Filled with love within 

A patriarch 

With memories so fond

Watches from beyond 

Passed but never gone 

I’m each of us a bond


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