(Chrystel's dad pictured here with her mom, his wife of 57 years.)

 

THE MAN AT MY SIDE

 

Alone on a road
I've not travelled before;
The going is rugged,
My feet: blistered and raw;
Unkind is the weather,
Sun scorches my head;
Despair rests upon me
Like a helmet of lead;
Depleted and broken,
I falter and drop;
Then I hear a man say:
"You can make it, don't stop!"

"I'm unable to shorten
This journey for you;
But I'll walk by your side
Until you get through;
If you stumble and fall,
I will help you to stand;
And when you're afraid,
I'll hold your hand;
You can lean on my shoulder
Every step of the way;
I'll be your guide and protector,"
I hear the man say.

I look at the man,
- so much care in his eyes;
The depth of his love 
Takes me quite by surprise;
In this cruel, angry world
Fraught with danger and strife;
This is one person
I can trust with my life;
Slowly my doubts
Begin to subside;
And so, I press on
With the man at my side.

When the journey will end
We both do not know;
But with the man at my side
Ever onward I'll go;
I feel heartened and safe
Just knowing he's there;
On a sweltering day
He's a breath of fresh air;
The best travel-partner
That ever I've had;
My mentor and friend;
My pillar;
My dad.

 

Chrystel Roberts

 

Bio:  "I was born and live in a beautiful little country in Africa, called Zambia.  I wrote this poem in 2002 when I was going through one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.  My father passed away a month ago due to cancer. This poem is a tribute to him:  George Francis Roberts 15/06/1934 - 22/04/2019."