By Margaret Mullan: Father’s Day 2002


Zebedee's sons have left him to his nets.

The work they long shared, now alone he carries.

Gone are the laughs and songs that bellowed from his sons.

Now weary echoes strain in the whistling wind that weaves a lonely dirge in the air.

He pulls the scarf tighter round his face as if to trap

The ringing echoes inside or rub the salty mist aside.

"They're happier now I know, I watched them go.

Had there ever been that searing light in their eyes before?

A thriving gold-mine catch or a stormy night amid waves never sparked

The fire I saw spring up that hour on the shore.

Sure, thunder crashed in their chests for years...

I know! I've born the full wake of many storms from my loved two.

But passion finally found its match for those two bonfires

In that passionlit One who engulfed them both.

Who is he to attract them more than this?

The strongest cords of love I held them with?

What cord could pull them more than my heart?

More than the father of the thundersons?"


His son has left him now alone in this house.

Spacious rooms that were built to hold the bellowing laughs and family song now faintly echo the words his son said:

"I'll be home soon, dad, and I'll bring home more."

He's drawn again to his front door to stare intently at that horizon.

A catch in his throat, then a cry "How long, my son, before you're back with me?

Your love I know is sparking fires on distant shores

Bring back boatloads of sons afire to fill our house

Come home soon to bring me you and joy filled family to warm our home."


A cord pulls at Zebedee's hands.

Go home too! Follow that blazing Fire that rowed away yesterday with everyone you treasure.

When treasures walk out the front, away on the water, look for shores they seek and be there to welcome them.

Follow them home where Father, Son and sons all gather.


Look now! There on the horizon, he's coming.

He's almost in my arms and then no more

Will separation leave the night between our hearts

The ocean crossed, the storm endured, the time ended:

“I'm home dad, to stay.”