The rest is up to him…

A Notebook

In 1922 John wrote on the first page
of a one hundred page notebook
that his boy had been born that morning;
he was fine with ten toes and fingers,
a good, strong cry easily silenced by feeding,
and a shock of jet black, fine hair atop,
and mother was well as well; each year
on the February day he jotted such
observations – brief, some would call terse,
taking just a few lines of the entire page;
walking now and into trouble often,
always asking questions – unanswerable,
outgrew pants before ruining them,
doing well in school, likes math the best;
all through the hardest of human days
for those who care for their own,
but no words about such things,
and never an explicit word of love,
just the obvious things of appetite
(insatiable and costly), growth (average),
friends (just a few), baseball (likes),
school (better than most, he supposes);
then the army when everyone did the same,
letters home and a photo in uniform
from the Atlantic, then France
and so many were lost but he was fine
and coming home; back to school, a girl,
he’d proposed, they were married
and the notebook stopped just
a quarter way through;
the rest was up to him, obviously.

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