the strongest

For my dad, Carrol Rainwater. This past January he turned 80 years old. Today, I turned 47. He is still my hero and role model. Thank you, Dad, for everything!

By Jeff Rainwater, 25 March 2017, Cheyenne, WY

When I was young
I believed my dad
was the strongest man
I ever knew.
The arms that would
lift me up
from every fall
surely could also
move mountains
and thoughtful words
guiding a son
into adulthood
must have power to
shape the world.

Yet Old Age is
a demanding
Wisdom exacts a
high price for
its company…
might and speed
and sometimes
even memory.
His once strong back
now bowed.
A body shaped
by his love and
Mom’s wheelchair.

Yet the Gatekeeper
Time has not
taken everything.
His best endures!
Determination undiminished.
Integrity unblemished.
Devotion to beloved and child
burning brightly
as a morning star.
When I was young
I believed my dad
was the strongest man
I ever knew.

I still do.

Photo by Feldore McHugh (


In honor of our daughter, Emma
by Jeff Rainwater, 14 March 2017, Cheyenne, WY

Her world breaks
before her questions
are ever spoken.
Will the breaking
be met with tears
or curiosity?
Maybe both.

Is there a Santa Claus?
Yes, why do you ask?
Are you Santa Claus?


A new world is born.
Less magic perhaps
yet even more love.
Mantle passed,
look out world!
A new Santa has