Therese Gramercy . . . the girl named Trees

Ken Haynes Memorial, Anchorage, AK

His Advice

I tried to pinpoint exactly where it all began to undo,
when I lost my feelings, when I became a man.
I decided it was the day that hugs became taboo,
and were replaced with a manly custom, the shaking of hands.

Big boys and men don’t kiss and hug like children and women,
we don’t show our feelings, and we don’t hold hands.
We learn to present an exterior that is calloused and calm,
to show just how tough we can be as a man.

As we grow older the impact becomes such a mess,
and we lose the love of women who are left to believe,
that because we won’t display any expression of our love for them,
that touching is just a sign to attend to our physical needs.

This stony behavior nearly caused me to lose my dear wife,
I could see her turning away and my feelings awoke in alarm,
you must change your ways soon, was the professional’s advice,
or she will leave you for she’d rather spend her life all alone.

All the years I’d wasted without hugs and I love you’s,
I gladly made up for as quickly as I possibly could,
and that adjustment was the biggest success of my life,
it brought me smiles, warmth, peace, and unending love.

I must tell you that you don’t get “do overs” in this life,
but you can learn to adjust how you act, and move on,
and I urgently implore you to do that before
the love of your life gives up hope and is gone.

You never know how long you have on this earth,
so make each day count while you are still physically here
for who was to know that my last day’s “I love you” as I left for work,
would be her last memory of me, a reminder of my love to be cherished for years.