Cherished Memory

He was a quiet man. I don’t remember playing with my father or hearing words of praise or love. I don’t remember hugs. But I do remember a few summer mornings each year when I was young. A silent drive to the lake. A long walk out the pier. He’d take a wriggly worm from an old tin can and put it on the end of my bamboo pole. And we’d sit. Just sit. A skinny little girl with giraffe-knobby knees and her whiskered dad, under the rising sun and ever bluing sky. No need for words. No need to catch a thing.

Steadfast sky and sun,
their promise always fulfilled.
Light shall break through clouds.


It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Toni asks us to write a haibun about the day sky. Thanks Toni. Your prompt brought back this cherished memory.

51 thoughts on “Cherished Memory

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) August 22, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    I do love the prose here… a wonderful memory, and I can recognize those silent men, but we were in comfort with that… love the sense of no need to catch a thing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 22, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      I wonder sometimes if it wasn’t his generation — were they all more silent?
      So glad you enjoyed.


  2. kanzensakura August 22, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    I am s happy it did. It is indeed a cherished memory and I thank you for sharing it with us. No need for words…No need to catch a thing….wonderful words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sarahsouthwest August 22, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    That’s a lovely memory to cherish. Sounds like he was as steadfast as the sky and sun himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Victoria Young August 22, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    Yes, light always breaks through! I love the bamboo pole image – so Japanese 😉 That generation of men were pretty oblivious of their kids. The children of the parents who survived the depression – not quite integrated beings. But what a lovely daughter he created who is definitely integrated and grateful for what he did do. Beautiful work, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kim881 August 22, 2016 / 5:10 pm

    A gorgeous treasured memory, Lillian. Thank you so much for sharing it. I love the image of you as ‘a skinny little girl with giraffe-knobby knees’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 22, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Ah….you should see the old black and white photos! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa) August 22, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    This is so heartfelt..❤ love the line ‘no need for words.. no need to catch a thing’ such a precious memory 🙂 he sounds like he was as steadfast and calm as the sky itself. Sigh thank you so much for sharing ❤

    Lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 22, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Ah Sanaa….I always treasure your replies and hearts! 🙂


  7. Arcadia Maria August 22, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    What a nice heartfelt story. There are times when silence says so much more than words.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. katiemiafrederick August 23, 2016 / 1:17 am

    Oh.. the quiet fathers…
    with the green
    of sunshine eyes
    that sparkle in lake
    day memories for
    me.. and
    one day on
    his dock.. a
    father drown
    off a boat only
    yards from uS..
    and sadly i had to
    wonder would i miss
    a daddy.. i never got to
    kNow/feeL.. from lips that
    could not express
    that one
    now when
    his decades old
    cat died that he
    called Son.. anyway..
    decades later as we all
    do with parents if the child does
    live long enough.. i did miss him..
    particularly.. the fAct he wouldn’t
    let me feel who he was inside ever
    no matter how hard i tried.. and sure
    enough.. eventuAlly.. i figured out.. i too..
    could be like him.. too.. if enough stress
    came like his in law enforcement for 46
    years to take
    the feelings
    away.. later..
    oh.. the environment
    of love.. makes or breaks
    a word of Love..
    lesSon lEarned
    for/by me.. my
    to always
    say i Love.
    and so much more..
    no longer speechless at
    age 4.. no longer stuttering
    in middle school.. and no longer
    dead and mute from stress in middle



    • lillian August 23, 2016 / 7:01 am

      Oh my…..this is an amazing reply my friend. I’ve read it several times. I think there are some people who simply do not know how to be expressive with words. As I know with my father, love shines through in many ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      • katiemiafrederick August 23, 2016 / 8:52 am

        Thanks my friEnd..
        Even science shows now..
        The heart IS A Love muscle
        That can grow like the
        Grinch HeArt and more..
        Perhaps.. than 10 x 10
        More with a practice
        Of PoEtry..
        With words
        And Dance
        Music of
        From head
        To toe in mind
        And body balancing
        Spirit that SinGs a Recipe
        For Fearless Loving SoUL
        And for
        Now that’s
        aLL i
        TrUly FeeL
        As LiGht oF
        LiFe Of LoVe..
        Thanks Lillian..
        WiTh sMiLes More

        Liked by 1 person

  9. georgeplace2013 August 23, 2016 / 8:35 am

    “No need for words. No need to catch a thing.” What a lovely memory of just being… with your dad and with nature. What a sweet, powerful description you’ve painted of your dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 23, 2016 / 8:39 am

      Thank you. So glad you enjoyed! Smiling I am.


  10. Glenn Buttkus August 23, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    Verbosity ran in my family; non-stop dynamic communication. I never really experienced the taciturn–but I never knew my real father; your haiku is killer, & your memory is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 23, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      Funny — I must have secretly been born to your family as I am very verbal and my parents were not! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed!


  11. proximanova August 23, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    “their promise always fulfilled.” — this line speaks to me about these silent acknowledgements, from your memory of time with your father, and in that sky. In many indigenous creation stories the sky is representative of the father of us all. Beautiful, I feel like this line connects the memory of father and the sky so well, maybe even unconsciously. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 24, 2016 / 7:23 am

      This is exactly right. Although my father was very very quiet and what one would call undemonstrative (no hugs, no “I love you”), I knew he loved me…that promise of love from father to child was always fulfilled. Similar in the haiku that the promise of the sky is always fulfilled. You found this connection 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. freyathewriter August 23, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    Wonderful memories encapsulated here so well. Silent men – yes, I have known and still know many. They are the deepest and the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sreejaharikrishnan August 24, 2016 / 3:15 am

    beautiful memory…this picture will stay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 24, 2016 / 7:21 am

      Our loved ones do indeed live on in our memories. And thank goodness for photographs too!


  14. Laura Bloomsbury August 24, 2016 / 7:02 am

    the strong silent type a perfect companion to such a day of fishing – letting in a lot of light with your lovely haiku

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 24, 2016 / 7:20 am

      So glad you enjoyed, Laura. He was a special man.


  15. Bryan Ens August 24, 2016 / 8:44 am

    That ability to simply sit, without the need of words, or even the need to catch…that’s a sign of comfort and love. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 24, 2016 / 11:35 am

      Exactly! So glad you enjoyed.


  16. Walter J. Wojtanik August 24, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    This is beauty, Lillian. Memories of fathers run the gamut, and this one captures a moment that sounds cherished. No need for words. No need to catch a thing. Just be together.


  17. Imelda August 25, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    What a sweet memory. Even if there were no words, there was obviously love and fondness.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Misky August 26, 2016 / 6:50 am

    This is very familiar to my own father. Completely understand this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 26, 2016 / 7:30 am

      Sometimes I think it was the generation. How I wish I’d sat him down and done an oral history with him — asked him questions and recorded his memories. I miss his quietness.


      • Misky August 26, 2016 / 7:31 am

        I think you’re probably right, and I miss my father, too. Often.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. nogs91 September 6, 2016 / 3:25 am

    Sometimes words are simply not required…. beautiful little memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. rothpoetry September 15, 2018 / 10:43 am

    This is such a common story from our past generation. Expressing feelings came in provision not affection!


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