Sunday, January 3, 2016

True Grit - a poem in memoriam of Bernhardt Thomas Lindemann

For my uncle, Bernhardt Thomas Lindemann, a giant heart of true grit.

True grit looks more like Willie Nelson than John Wayne.
He bends his 6'4" frame down to place a good ear nearer
and gives little girls lots of practice with the hammer
even when that means the building will take twice as long.

True grit acts more like Gandhi than Chuck Norris.
He bows his head, gives an encouraging lopsided grin
and squints to find the love and humor within
even when others are busy saying something stupid, hurtful and wrong.

True grit laughs more like Barney Fife than Steven Seagal.
He farms the black lands for love through drought and wind
and doesn't give a damn, so long as the baby cow lives, that he won't win
even when he has more debts than friends.

True grit plays more like Will Rogers than Mel Gibson.
He finds nothing funnier than being bested by his daughter
and letting his little brother toss him in cold water
even sharing the stories in their favor when his wife walks in.

True grit doesn't get a comeback sequel like Sylvester Stallone.
He is strong enough to ask for help when his doubts become demons
and fierce enough to forgive himself without asking for reasons
even when it looks as if his hopes are all a ruin.

True grit leaves his love looming large with those he loved
and goes without regret on a closer walk with God,
even when it seems too soon.

My grandfather with my mother and my uncle, Bernhardt Thomas Lindemann, as a toddler.

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