What a powerful poem by John McManus. A rollercoaster emotional ride!
We start with the flags and streamers of the "season opener". Wherever they live, even if not sports fans themselves, most readers will know the experience of the beginning of a sport season, and we all can appreciate and share the sense of excitement conjured by that phrase: of happy crowds, and especially of families pouring into the stadium. I see mums and dads with kids, and babies in strollers being wheeled in.
Yet in a moment McManus inverts that image. It is the son wheeling his father. The effect of reading this was visceral. Like a movie slow-motion, suddenly the crowd and noise dulls, and I zoom up on that pair of figures. There is a poignant dignity in the image. McManus doesn't use the expected colloquial expression "dad", but the respectful "father". In this line we gain deep insight into the character of both men, father and son, and the quality of their relationship.
The concluding line is achingly poignant, but so matter of fact. Here we see a microcosm of the cycle of life: of seasons, of generations, and of shared joys and love.
It is a poem of deep love by a son for his father, and is deeply affecting. It has the power to make every son (and daughter) reappraise how are they manifesting their love for their own parents, and in so doing enriches all our relationships. Thank you John for sharing this with us.