Royden Shantz 1918-2009

by Janelle

Royden Shantz

Royden Shantz

Royden is remembered as husband, dad, grandpa, and great grandpa. He will be missed by many. He was granted a long and fruitful life. He passed on many strong values to us, and we will not forget.

After the funeral I wrote this poem in his honor:

A Plot of Ground on the Prairie

We lowered grandpa into the soil today—
although we couldn’t see it’s darkness.
Factory-made, indoor-outdoor carpet
lined the dirt hole.

But grandpa was a man of the soil.
We could’ve been honest.
On his farm,

I lay down on the lawn and feel
solid earth holding me.
Green grass that grows out of land
that grandpa once worked
to bring his family nourishment.

His father and grandfather too
came to this bit of ground,
a borrowed spot on which to become
a family, a history, a life.

It is soil from which I have traveled far.
I did not see its value in my youth.
I have pushed against it in my thirties,
when the difficulties of life seem too
overwhelming to be contained in one
small plot.

Now grandpa’s death bids me return
to eat the fruit of this soil again.
I cannot deny that my crop is different,
yet I now admit the soil is the same.

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