I remember him best shyly smiling

Another good man has gone to his good grave,
his dim days dim now no more.
Below the blue sky, the green bush trims the stream
while the water shushes over the old dam.
In the cool shadows, fat speckled trout glide to and fro
and hide from us just beneath the foam.
We do not fish, not here anymore,
that world is long gone and so nearly too are we.
But he is still there, of this I am sure,
waiting and smiling and fishing evermore,
where he was ever most happy—I am sure.

This poem is dedicated to Mark Higgins, my father’s dearest friend who died in April, 2007;  he was 81 years old.

When I was growing up Mark was very much an uncle to me and I loved him very much. He was a quiet, sweet, gentle man, a logger by trade who was happiest in the woods, fishing, hunting and trapping. He built his own home in the forest and logged his own firewood, as well as fish for his winter supply of cod which he would split, salt and dry. One of the happiest memories I have is accompanying my father and Mark on just such a late summer fishing trip and working myself exhausted catching enough fish to make him proud.

Mark and my father spent much time together over the years. They were both humble, quiet, Godly men. They were human, of course and could and did laugh and shout and have fun, and Lord knows the two of them could enjoy a drink, or many. But in the end they were both most comfortable in each other’s company because they both loved the quiet of the woods, the hushed sound of their own conversation and the simple joy of being with a friend that they could trust and in whom they could believe in and depend on.

I believe there is a special world after this one and a person as special as Mark is there for his just reward. I imagine him waiting for us by my favorite fishing spot, not catching the “big ones” but just waiting there, saving the big ones for me.

Thank you for reading I remember him best shyly smiling. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.


Filed under Poetry

8 responses to “I remember him best shyly smiling

  1. Love this one….. lovely.
    Thank you so much for the prayer John., God bless.


    • Mei, thank you for the opportunity to say it. I read some of the young man’s work…I do so hope he recovers. His voice would be a terrible one to lose.

  2. “fishing evermore…” I may not be a fishing person, but the picture is lovely and pastoral. I hope he is resting as peacefully as you describe 🙂


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