Today is my father’s anniversary. Each year, I publish a short poem in the local paper to remember him. The words are as true today as when I first wrote them.

The slippers lying empty under the bed;
The shovel lying idle in the shed;
The numbers scribbled beside the telephone.
A new reminder every day
Brings you close from far away.
You’re not here now… but you’re not gone.

A piece of news you’d like to hear;
A friend recalling with a tear
Some simple lovely thing that you’d done.
You were always there to say
“Can I help in any way?”
You’re not here now… but you’re not gone.

We weren’t ready for the day
You shuffled off your coat and slipped away
And left us down here suddenly alone.
But, in our hearts, every day
Your smiling face seems to say
“I’m not there now… but I’m not gone.”

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