The Hero You Made Me

Heart teeming with love,

liver soaking in booze;

rough around the edges,

tender to the core:

the dichotomy of you.


Mama told you I was coming,

a second chance to give

what you couldn’t to her.

You put down the bottle

to tie on your cape.

You were gonna be a grandpa.


Before open eyes or

memories came to me,

Mama told me you cradled

me better than you used to

a koozie-clad beer. Your

angry, shaking hands calmed

in my presence, soothing

a crying babe.


Days and years passed,

your heroism set in,

and our missions, you told me,

grew more important.


From bike handles to car wheels;

from playing house to boyfriends;

from visiting me for playdates

to visiting you at the hospital;

there were always lessons to be learned.


You had a lionheart up until the day it failed,

but you didn’t leave me alone.


You left me with your strength,

so I could hold my mom’s hand

when she couldn’t hold herself together.

You left me with your bravery,

to imagine and dream and believe.

You left me with your courage,

to love boldly without fear;

to love enough to let go.


And in our parting embrace,

you tied your cape around my neck.

This poem is about: 
My family
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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