Edward Malone

Rookie (10/1959 / Joliet, IL)

The Challenger - Poem by Edward Malone

In the eighties, there was a rocket,
that flew by this name, a tragic ending, and many were blamed-
The very same summer, I learned my wife was to bring,
A baby boy to us- sometime in spring

Those that know, will surely understand,
this couple had a challenge, raise a baby to a man-

The courage and glory, the guts if you will,
Of a teacher named Christa, and the Challenger crew-
To the heavens they flew, on a white fiery tail-they may have left us behind,
but their spirits would not fail-
So with sorrow, then courage, America stayed on task,
To keep the promise of the heroes, now in Gods hands-

My son was soon born with his eyes gleaming,
Is that the flame of a rocket through his eyes streaking?
My minds eye saw, the new challenge ahead-
Yet, when he was born, he was lifeless, near dead-
But then God spoke and gave this boy his first breath!

I'm a Dad I thought, and even shouted out loud,
of course in my truck, so to not draw a crowd,
A star was given us, direct from the heavens,
A gift such as this, was more than I could fathom!

God gave us a gift, from his heavenly state,
and we knew what we had to do-
Bring forth the good fruit, as in our childhood we learned -
Bring up this young man,
Now teach him to challenge,
Just how things were done, in a heavenly fashion.

I began to consider,
my own orderly plan,
About how I thought life should be,
I was a new Dad, proud, tall and strong-
just full of naivety-

I knew so much- (really so little) ,
About how things worked, I was sure-
Bringing forth a new life was going to be tough... was it in me I asked,
knowing it will be quite rough-
And I saw it - that flame in his eyes,
Truth be told I would see it again,
over and over as he grew to a man,
Every challenge he faced,
brought forth that wry little grin.

We flew rockets together, since he was young,
A Royal Ranger challenge, and he handed me one,
A small you build rocket with that fire in his eyes,
"steady, now aim and shoot for the skies",

Never once fearing failure, he always had hope-
When the countdown came, and he pushed the launch button,
His success shooting up, on that fiery white smoke-

He challenged his teachings, and learned all new things,
Not always quite orderly,
As before I had mentioned,
But with love and real passion-
A "new way" was his mission-

And grow he did, through many struggles, and failures,
Learning to live under Gods direction-
He gave of himself, to the church which he loved,

And many of these times he learned valuable lessons-
How to not be a jerk, and show others compassion,
He gave all his best, that was just his fashion-

He learned a new trade, in his house of worship,
He studied and pushed, and put grace to the test,
Never once wondering, if "this was his best".

And to this day, if you dare question his obsession,
He may hand you a book, in well used condition,
And tell you-
"The Bible-is where I learned my most important lesson" -
"To challenge mans ways- and do so with passion! "

© Copyright 2011 Eric Toft

Poet's Notes about The Poem

For my oldest son.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 16, 2012

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