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Empty Shell

This poem is written in honor of my father, Jerome Burton (Bud) Morgan;  The finest man I have ever known.  The song "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg best describes my feelings for him.

You always were my hero, the one man I truly admired.
Now you have left, and my heart is so tired.
Day by day, I watched as you died a little more.
Frustrated, angry, I was sickened to the core.

Whenever my problems were too big for me to fight,
You'd smile, give advice, and tell me what was right.
Now who are the villains, and who are the heroes?
You were the mathematician, all I see are zeroes!

You said, "this isn't life", as you lay dying in bed.
Now all these memories keep running through my head.
The times we spent together, the good and the bad;
And just how lost a son can be without his dad.

No more sports to talk about, no more games to play.
No life lessons to be taught, I won't see you another day.
You taught me how to be a man, and how to pay the cost;
But Poppa, you never taught me how to deal with such a loss!

When we lost my sister, you told me not to cry or make a fuss.
We were men and must be strong, the women needed us!
So I did not cry at your funeral, though my heart was torn in two;
Because I knew it was what you would have wanted me to do.

Now memories and mementoes are all that we have left
Of the soldier, husband, father, who from our life is cleft.
I carried an empty shell as a reminder from your grave
So when it is my time to die, I might be as brave.

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