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You will have been dead fifteen years tomorrow,
and yet not once have I visited your grave.
I was always busy; there was always time
to see you, to make amends. And yet, I feel
it's all a sham. I could make time, but I fear
the truth. It's easier to believe my lies.

If I went, I'd see your plot, see how you lie
untroubled, beneath the soil. Your tomorrows
ended many yesterdays ago. No fears
to face, no debts to pay. No decisions grave
to weigh your brow.  Not like your son.  How I feel
the heaviness of this life. There's too much time

and not enough. Lives end every day. It's time
to stop hiding from the pain. My future lies
along a path you've helped me walk. I can feel
your touch in everything I do. Tomorrow
is too late, sometimes. It shall not be graved
into history that I gave into fear.

For too long I feel I've lived a life of fear,
of caution, of safety, and, and yet such times
I had. Oh dad, you'd be turning in your grave
if you saw the choices that I made that lie
behind me. How I made it to tomorrow -
sometimes, I'll never know. When mom speaks, I feel

you then the most.  She calls you brave, and I feel
that's the man I wish to be. You conquered fear.
I think I shall not wait until tomorrow.
I'm twenty three. When's better than now, this time,
to go make idle boasts and tell boastful lies
with my father? He who loved me to his grave?

Death is final, but it need not be so grave
as to eclipse all the joy you made me feel.
So, this year, there will be flowers, which will lie
as testament to a man who lived sans fear.
And instead of death, I shall speak of a time,
years past, when you made me long for tomorrow.
Stephen E. Beltz
1933 - 1997

"He lived for tomorrows and laughed at the grave.
We honor the time of a great man who felt
that a life lived in fear was naught but a lie."

Type of Poem: Sestina

A sestina is a 39-line blank verse poem composed of six stanzas of six lines each and a final three-line stanza. Lines have eleven syllables, although both line and stanza length variations are common. What makes this form unique is that every stanza uses the same six words as the final word of each line in an alternating pattern. The final stanza then uses all six words in order.

The pattern which follows is created by pairing the numbers furthest apart in the stanza, moving them to the front to create the next stanza, and then repeating twice more.

123456 - in this 3-line stanza, 1,3, and 5 are within each line.

A last note: enjambment is the breaking of a phrase, clause, or sentence by the end of a line or between two verses.

This is my thirteenth submission for the December Form Challenge from #ProjectDFC. You can read the rest of my entries here.

Submitted to `KathrynODriscoll's Magic of Memories poetry contest.

edit: thank you all for your wonderful comments. I'm honored to have received a DD.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-12-26
It's never too late by ~TheDorsai The suggester writes, "It's a beautiful piece that's clearly written right from the heart. It conveys so much emotion." ( Suggested by kitvor and Featured by thorns )
EverstoneLove Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012   General Artist
There's a song called Never Too Late by Three Days Grace.. it's really good.. lol.

And this rocks too.
Dibs-New-Beginnings Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Student Writer
Amazing. Sestinas are incredibly difficult. This piece has such good flow that I didn't notice it was a Sestina until the third stanza. Excellent job, grats on your DD.
nagoyamonkey-smg Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow. It's not often that I leave comments here on dA, but this has left me completely breathless. In two weeks it will be fifteen years since my mother died, and this poem embodies so many things that I have thought and felt, especially recently. I have never visited her grave and regrettably won't have the opportunity go yet again this year, but it is something that I want to eventually do. As you put, it's never too late.

Thank you so much for writing this.
keidream Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
This is such a difficult form, and you nailed it. Fantastic job! I love the poem.
Rawrcookies188 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a really pretty poem.
TwentyfootAngels Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Holy. Just... wow. You have a gift.

Also, listen to this while reading: [link]
Frostheartlove Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Oh my goodness! That was so beautiful! I loved it!!!
Slayer-1412 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
beautiful :happycry:
hellanugget Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
this is amazing. So glad it got a DD.
JulieKrizan Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I am currently crying like a baby.
mercurialMayhem Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
This brought tears to my eyes T^T I love this, so sentimental and so endearing :tears:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Really awesome piece! :) It was interesting to learn about sestinas too.
mebyrne57 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Well done, a touching read!
Lintu47 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Congrats on the well deserved DD! :heart:
Have a nice day and Happy Holidays! :santa:
AnimeYoshiGirl Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Skarnic Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely fantastic and really well written :) An honestly beautiful poem.
ShootingStaar Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Student General Artist
"Your tomorrows
ended many yesterdays ago."

how I love these words.
Vainamoinenian Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
that line made me shiver...
Ensaru64 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Just beautiful
InklingsOfOblivion Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Just a beautiful poem. :heart:
MushKat Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A stunning piece of literature, undeniably
TheLegendofEevee Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You truly have a gift :)
kitvor Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This was beautiful, even made me tear up a little. I think this is my new favorite. And, like I tell you every day, I love you <3
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Submitted on
December 12, 2012
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