There’s an old man sitting underneath a cedar tree,
a suitcase for a seat; a pen and notepad on his knee.
Beside him is a box, its contents glinting in the light.
He glances at it thoughtfully and then begins to write:
“Son, I found those medals we believed were gone for good,
just as I recalled them, in their box of cedar wood.
You proudly passed them round your class for weekly 'Show and Tell',
I hadn't seen them since, but then, I thought it just as well.
Your mother must’ve put them in that suitcase in the shed.
To find them brought back feelings I had truly thought were dead.
I stared at them, so shiny, as they lay there in my hand,
remembering my father, who had fought for our homeland.
When he returned, he was a man who’d lost the will to fight;
who'd died inside before he waved that final flag of white.
You told me I should march, and so I did for years, with pride,
and I could swear I felt his spirit marching by my side.
But years flew by and all too quickly, you had moved away;
I found it hard to step aside, and let you go your way.
We seemed to disagree on things we never had before.
You no longer saw me as your hero, anymore.
So I named you as the reason why we seemed at odds;
“It can't be me!” I thought, for I was such a stubborn sod.
Now it’s time to mend that bridge, and end this senseless fight;
I admit to my mistakes, and want to put things right.
Funny though, I’ve had the thought your mother somehow knew
I’d one day find those medals, and they’d lead me back to you.
So I'll write this note and put it in an envelope,
and send it on a wing and prayer; my olive branch, my hope.
With life still here in this old dog, I’ll tell you plain and straight,
don’t hurry your decision, for I’ve naught to do but wait”
But time can be a lowly thief, for now, beneath that tree,
a younger man sits grieving for lost opportunities.
And though his father’s spirit whispers it was for the good,
the medals lay there tarnished, in that box of cedar wood....