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Two poems and three songs for my Father Donald R Lyons Nov 21. 1925 – Jan 26, 2003.


DAD

The swans out in the field

Their secrets not revealed

Passing into silent flight are they

Perhaps their subtle sigh

Stifles some deeper cry

As they know you’ll be leaving much too soon

 

Walking down the lane

The filly foals refrain

Their running is the sound of falling rain

Are they restless from the summer?

Or somehow do they know

You’ll not stay to seen them fully grown

 

By the fairy mounds of old

The pock marked GPO

Cross the Boyne to bang your head on spiral stone

See the wonders down at Fore

And the ancient seat of kings on Tara hill

 

Now sitting by the fire, music’s playing’ low

Guess I’ll raise a glass or two before I go

Though it’s to an empty chair not your smiling face I stare

(Yet) whenever that door slams I still hope to see you there.

 

And sitting here I wonder

All those stories finally told

Revealed how in our youth

We were so very much the same

Was it drink that made us bold?

Or did we speak so true

Because somehow, we knew

You’d not be coming back this way again?

 

Somewhere Still

Somewhere there is still a place, you sitting in the sun, concrete porch paving slabs, Cape Cod Grey picnic table, small summer savages running jumping clinging – immune bare feet impervious to sun. Skin frosted with salt, lotions, cake icing.

Somewhere children still take your hand, invite you to cross the street walk with them down to the beach, taking them sometimes instead to lunch…

Long-time companions, comforts of old age, afternoon naps, books, TV, mail order catalogues, big band music and too those ever-dangerous memories –  love, marriage, a hole never in twenty-three years has time healed.

Somewhere she still takes you by the hand. Ohs your name laughs into the open window, Fifty-five Chevy, summer bright chrome. So close to flying great American V8 highways up through the Canadian border dwindling into heavy Nova Scotia sands.

There has never been an ocean too cold for her to swim in. Long after your retreat to safety – Flamingo towels, Knickerbocker beer, USMC Zippo, Old Gold cigarette spiral prayers. Gratitude at last. Unable to fathom any reason to feel bad about surviving.

Deep breath wonderful (not a god damn palm tree in sight). Watch that woman of the sea; only wish there would never have to be a time to leave.

Later she gets tipsy; acquiescing when the waiter offers to sweeten her drink no knowing here to sweeten means more liquor. Out on the dance floor, hold each other tight as you want because she’s your wife now and you always liked the Mills Brothers.

Sometime after midnight, small cedar room, Stuart tartan blankets, crisp white sheets. Strange night sounds traipsing gingham curtains. As if tiny fingers, she ohs your name. Answer back with words you never knew before.

This spring by the sea your little house will not find you. Gone now perhaps to wander just like W.B. said –

 Glimmering girl once more beside you and pluck

 Till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

(For: D.R.L. –  with regards to W.B. Yeats, his favourite poet.)

 

Donald Raymond Lyons
Donald Raymond Lyons, 77, of North Shore Blvd., East Sandwich, MA, formerly of Rockledge Dr., Waterbury, passed away peacefully on Sunday, (January 26, 2003) with his family by his side at the Mary F. McCarthy House in Sandwich. He was the husband of the late Flora (Rosano) Lyons. Mr. Lyons was born Nov. 21, 1925 in the Waterville section of Waterbury, son of the late Raymond and Ethel (Pollard) Lyons of Waterville. He graduated from Crosby High School in 1947 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. Mr. Lyons joined the Waterbury Police force in 1953. He was promoted to police sergeant in 1965 and to lieutenant in 1973, retiring in 1984. He loved family gatherings, his books, wine, dancing, lunch dates and his grandchildren. He was a member of B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 265 and the VFW Mattatuck Post No. 8075. He leaves his devoted family of three sons, Peter D. Lyons of County Cavan, Ireland, Mark J. Lyons of Waterbury, and David M. Lyons of Sagamore, MA; two daughters, Pamela A. Beane of Sandwich, MA and Judy M. Donovan of Plymouth; a loving brother, Raymond “Buddy” Lyons of Waterbury; and 11 grandchildren that adored him. He was predeceased by a sister, Shirley Aparo. The funeral will be held Friday at 8:45 a.m. from the Mulville Funeral Home, 270 West Main St., to St. Francis Xavier Church for a Mass at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in All Saints Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mary E. McCarthy House, 73 Service Rd., East Sandwich, MA 02537, or to a charity of the donor’s choice. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the love and support given to their father by his longtime companion, Eleanore Bryan of Sandwich, MA.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Jan. 28, 2003

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