For William

I remember as a boy we grabbed our fishing poles
We went to some little lake next to a watering hole
The day was hot, the breeze rolled through
Flies danced above my head
We didn’t catch a single fish
I just caught a cold instead
But it was times like that I remember best
And I never shall forget

The black cat you called Joey is standing in your chair
He knows you’re never coming back, I don’t think he cares
He sits there crying constantly
I fear it wounds his heart
But he will sing his eulogy
Until he's torn apart
And it is times like this I will notice best
And I never shall forget

We sat inside the basement, arranging your old stamps
Beneath the porcelain glow of your many-shaded lamps
The book was nearly filled
With foreign calling cards
When I ceased to collect them
And telling you was hard
And it was times like that I remember best
And try not to regret

The dog, your vigilant guardian, has become so kind
It seems that he has chewed his paws and has gone half-blind
And as I dab his wounds
And soak away the silt
He seeks just my affection
He seeks to wash his guilt
And it is times like this I will notice best
And soothe his old regret

I sit inside your workshop with a madman glowing grin
The sawdust mixed with cobwebs and the triumph then with sin
I left the door half-open
And I knew the world was lost
The window panes are broken
The winter has no frost
And it is times like these I remember best
And I wish that they hurt less

The hill out back for sledding, what a joy that was
Crashing into trees as my sister and I rushed
Down the hill in fashion
On our uncle’s sled
And as we hurried inside
I remember you had said:
“Grandson, these times you'll remember best”
And I try not to forget

Oh, I remember picking up the sticks back beneath the trees
The only reason we had to do it was you couldn’t bend your knees
We grimaced and we groaned
As we trudged along the hill
We did a shoddy job
But you paid us even still
And it was times like these I remember best
And I hope you will forgive

I have one more confession that involved your morning run
I’d pass you on the bus and the kids would all make fun
Of what you wore each morning
And I wish I could go back
And tell them all how proud I was
Of the courage you never lacked
And it was times like those I remember best
And thus I must confess

But the fondest recollection that springs into my mind
Is when you grew a moustache and kept it for some time
Just because my sister asked you
When she saw the photograph
I saw the picture yesterday
And I couldn’t help but laugh
So I want you to know I remember best
How much we all were blessed