(A collaboration with Nick Tamborra)
When you my son can stop thinking about only yourself
and offer a hand out to another in need that cannot earn
or even offer a helping hand without first being told
and not expecting or looking for something in return
When you my son can keep your eyes and ears focused
and your mind and attention to those around you when able
and stay clear away from that phone text or social network
that has isolated you from your family at the dinner table.
When you my son allow your heart and soul to burn in desire
but not allow those flames to completely consume your mind
or to burn the ones that love and dream there alongside you
yet in turn help to kindle the fires of their dreams in kind
When you my son can stand against life’s bitter onslaught
of endless disappointments and heartaches making you fall
and leaving you despondent and isolated facing this pain
yet still having that inner strength to carry on or even crawl.
When you my son know when it best to just walk away
if the cause is lost and all solutions have been tried
and humbly face the failure as just another chance to try
still smiling your smiles through all the tears you've cried.
When you my son can answer your souls inquisition
after it asks 'Who are you' by saying simply 'I am me'
and mean that you are the one who will stand for right
for as others sit in wrong you will not fear to disagree
When you my son can traverse through your soul's seasons
weathering the changes that each new one has brought
all the while having the courage to remain unchanged
while persevering for the good in the fight you have fought
When you my son can dust yourself off for another day
and still keep your mind and your life’s goals still in focus
while standing there in the wilderness all shattered and torn
yet will still find home because of your inner moral compass.
When you my son can treat a woman with love and respect
and love her unconditionally with all of your heart and soul
while making her feel safe and secure in your loving embrace
even during those times when life can sometimes take its toll
When you my son take hold of her hand as she holds your future
knowing the prize that she just bore you is your life's greatest win
When you my son redefine in yourself that new meaning of Father
for only in these things my son can you answer that question of when.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Nick Tamborra & Joey Jones 2013