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What Do You See, My Son?

Updated on March 7, 2019
Mr Archer profile image

My family is my life, and this day together was one I will remember forever.

What do you see?
What do you see? | Source

I wonder what you see, my son?

What it was that you gazed upon?

A chance picture on Father’s Day,

Caught you looking another way.

A faint reflection in some glass

While we were looking at the past

Caught you looking ahead, beyond

I wonder what your eye was on?

Was it a future in the air?

Were you dreaming to be up there?

Did those planes set your mind to dream

Of soaring, of being on that team?

Will you defend this precious land?

Keep us safe and make a stand?

Will you be one that hears the call

To service us one and all?

You are, you are my beautiful son

Who I will love when Time is done.

Stay safe, stay brave, stay true to you

Know we love you when day is through.

But still I wonder oh so long

My Son, what was your eye upon?

The Day Before Father's Day

My son and I went to a local Air Show on the day before Father's Day. He had never been to one before, so even this small town static display was something special for us. We wandered around for a couple of hours, poking our heads into this and that plane, just enjoying ourselves.

We went aboard the B-17 Sentimental Journey and gained a new appreciation for what our ancestors went through in WWII. It was a struggle for me to get around in it. The belly turret gun was so small, it would have held a man not much bigger than my 9 year old son. I took pictures left and right, of my son looking at the planes and helicopters. We really had a lot of fun together.

When I got home and downloaded the pictures onto my laptop, I saw one that stopped me in my tracks. A chance reflection of my young son caught in the plastic cover of the belly turret to the B-17. I always saw him as childlike, my little buddy, but this picture showed me a glimpse into the future, with him looking away, ahead. A serious look is on his face and he appears to be far beyond his years. It scared me a little, for it was the first time I saw him as something other than my little boy. He had aged some ten years or so in an instant.

I hope you enjoyed my little poem, dedicated to all those sons and daughters who have gone before us. Those who heard the call and grew up a bit quicker than they should have had too. I salute you, and your families.

May God continue to bless you and keep you safe.

The full picture I saw. Looking inside the belly turret of the B-17 bomber.
The full picture I saw. Looking inside the belly turret of the B-17 bomber. | Source
My son standing beside the turret. It was amazing how small it truly is.
My son standing beside the turret. It was amazing how small it truly is. | Source
Ready to go, Dad!
Ready to go, Dad! | Source
The B-17 Bomber Sentimental Journey
The B-17 Bomber Sentimental Journey | Source
It would be hard for my 9 year old to fit inside the tail gunner's nest.
It would be hard for my 9 year old to fit inside the tail gunner's nest. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Mr Archer


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    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Patricia. For the comment and for the loan of your angels; I needed some this morning. I return them to you unharmed and for you to share once more. Blessings to you!


    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      ps, oh thank you! For the comment and the angels! Been a crazy morning and having them near always feels great. I now return them to you for your comfort. Blessings to you and yours.


    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from North Central Florida

      Talking about being the right place at the right certainly were.

      Engaging and thoughtful and just two words to describe your poem. Perhaps one day he will share the answer with you..

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      6 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Sir.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Mr Archer,

      Deal. And I will do that, checking out your Favorite Airplanes.


    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      6 years ago from Missouri

      I will do my best. Check out the Hub I just published about My Favorite Airplanes. Take care, Sir.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Mr. Archer,

      I meant that.

      Just keep on turning-out hubs like this and you will touch a lot of hearts.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      6 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Sir!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Mr Archer,


    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Nell. I truly have the highest regard for those who defend our country and all other countries who cannot defend themselves; we owe them a debt which cannot be repaid. You take care and blessings to you and yours.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, I loved the way you captured your son looking as though he was deep in thought and just for that second, older beyond his years. and your tribute to all those wonderful guys who keep us safe, nell

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Wow, what an awesome capture in this picture. I see what you mean, your little guys expression does reveal an older presence. He's a very handsome young man.

      The first hub, of yours, I read was about your love for your wife - a topic I too wrote about - only it was about my love for my husband. This is the second hub, by you, I just read and once again, I too wrote a hub about my son called; my son His son. I am amazed!

      Thank you for a beautiful hub which once again reveals your heart of love for your family.

      Have a GREAT day! Voted up +++

      God Bless You,


    • whonunuwho profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Our children are precious to us each and a blessing from God. Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem and of your family. whonu

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed your poem and your story. It does take your breath away for a minute, when we see our child look so wise beyond their years. This is really moving and I enjoyed reading the special day you had with your son.

      I wish you many more of those days. Blessings.

      Voted up +++ shared & tweeted.


    • Bettyoverstreet10 profile image

      Betty (Alawine) Overstreet 

      7 years ago from Vacaville, Ca.

      Enjoyed your writing very much and the photos were great! Nothing like spending time with our kids, watching them become who God planned them to be.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      I greatly appreciate your read and comment on my poem. I also offer my honer to you on behalf of your uncle who defended those who were unable to defend themselves during that time. Take care and blessings your way...

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      7 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Hello Mr. Archer. I am humbled with the experience you shared. The photograph is profound. The followup with size of persons in those seats offered a bit of pondering. An uncle flew on those missions in that era. Your poetic words offer the experience of a dad I am not familiar with, yet openly respect offering a nod of appreciation.

      The image shared and the immense betwixt and between stare of your son offers much more than the eye will ever see. Sharing a tad, it was not the main event that uncle was proudest of and offering hopeful insight. It was the after with the airlift and blockade of '48 - '49 he spoke dearly of. He mentioned that every visit I saw him, which were near 4 or more years apart.

      The perspective of more than one must read within to align with the offered image. Thank you for sharing such insight offering time or pondering.

      do have a great day . . . one smile at a time . . .


    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      Ruby, thank you. Like all words which are about my family, these just seemed to appear on the screen, without any help from me. When I sat back and looked at the picture and read the words, it was like someone had taken the thoughts from my mind, put them into a wonderful poem, and placed them here for all to see. They were my words, yet not something I could have created. Kind of strange, but wonderful. I truly appreciate your taking the time to read and comment here. Take care.

      Phyllis, thank you as well. If I am not mistaken, yours was the very first comment I ever received here on hubpages. I am glad you still peek in on me every now and again, and gladder still you find my words worthwhile. I too wonder what he was thinking at that moment. I asked him, but he could not say for sure. It was some time later when I saw this image, and later still when I asked him. By then, the moment had passed too far for him to remember. I like to think he was looking ahead to a possible career serving this great country as an aviator or pilot. Maybe, just maybe...

      Take care and may God bless you.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      7 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      This is truly an endearing and insightful poem/hub. What a blessing you received when seeing this look on your son's face -- it does show that he is looking beyond the moment, into the future. I wonder what his thoughts were for those few seconds?

      Amazing! Voted Up and all except funny.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      7 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Voted up and shared, wonderful picture, seeing the visions in our children's eye, it is truly a loving surprise. Really liked your poem, very moving and true. So wonderful to take your son on these wonderful adventures, stay true!

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      8 years ago from Missouri

      Isaac, thanks. We really had a blast that day and added another level to our father son time. I'll take all of that time I can get. Take care, Sir.

      Gypsy, I'm glad you enjoyed this. He is adorable, and will grow up to be a good looking young man. I'm just glad he takes after his Mother! She's got all the looks!

      Blessings to both of you and may your days be joyful and filled with sunshine and laughter.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up. This is really delightful. Your son is adorable now but he's going to be one handsome fellow when he grows up. Love the pics.

    • Isaac White profile image


      8 years ago from Welcome to my beautiful world, where magic is no longer a myth.

      Nice job. I really like what you wrote about in the poem and I am glad you and your son enjoyed seeing the air show. I have always wanted to be a pilot. Well anyways, great read. Voted up.

      I. White

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      8 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Bill. It surprised me how much older he looked in that picture and I am not ready for my little buddy to grow up! Not yet!!

      Marie, thank you also. Yes, there are a few years left before he ages enough that it might not be "cool" to hang with dad, but I am going to enjoy every minute and hang on for all I'm worth.

      sweethearts2, thank you for your kind comment. That look you speak of is precious, and we need to keep it fresh in our minds as they become young adults. I appreciate the vote up and your taking the time to read and comment.

      Many blessings to you all.

    • sweethearts2 profile image


      8 years ago from Northwest Indiana

      What a beautiful poem and memory you will have to give your son. I was always amazed at what they saw from the time they first saw their hands to when I would find them lost in a look.

      Voted up and beautiful and interesting.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      8 years ago from Jacksonville, FL USA

      Hi Mike, sounds like you had a great day with your son. I know the feeling you must have had because I went through something similar when my daughter joined the Army. You're son is only nine, though, so you have time. We have to remember that our dreams for them may not be their dreams.

      Your poem is quite nice. All rhyming, or near-rhyme, couplets. Only three or four lines lost the 8-syllable line count. The thought in the poem is memorable. If you were to fine tune it further, I would only recommend bringing the six- and seven-syllable lines up to eight and only a couple of grammatical changes, i.e. "whom" and eye[s]. Very, very nice.

      As you mentioned the small space for the pilot, I remembered how important our pilots were during WWII, and the work behind them--the map interpreters who studied aerial photos to determine where arsenal and missile sites were so our men could bomb them. It was incredible work.

      This is a nice tribute shortly after Father's Day. I'm sure your son thinks you're a great dad!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A great adventure for father and son, and boy oh boy, are you ever right about them growing up in the blink of an eye. Such a beautiful poem. Anyone who is a parent will understand and appreciate this one, Mike.

      Well done buddy!

      blessings always


    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      8 years ago from Missouri

      Cheyenne, it truly was an awesome moment, I can tell you. I will see that young man again in a few years, but for now I hope to keep him young and innocent just a while longer.

      It really amazed me to see how small and tight the spaces were inside this plane. I mean I have read about them before and know the numbers regarding height and weight, but standing in the runway between the cockpit and the bomb area on that B-17, it really hit home. I had to suck my gut in, and stretch myself out just to walk across it! To think of what they did during flight, in the middle of flak and enemy planes shooting at them is beyond my scope of understanding. These men were giants in the world, yet they were so small compared to the majority of "heroes" in today's world. We can never repay them for what they gave to us.

      I salute your Father for his service to our country. May God bless you and yours and keep you safe.


    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      I can just imagine the thrust this 'outside looking in' glimpse gave you, Wayne. You were able to see your son as a grown person once you stepped outside. That must have been an incredible experience.

      You're right about pilots. They are typically of small stature. My father is a retired USAF fighter pilot. He's only about 5'6" and never weighed over 150 pounds his entire life. He flew F-106 in 'Nam. Their was no room for a co-pilot, let alone a bigger man.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      8 years ago from Missouri

      Sally, thank you. I am glad you enjoyed this little poem. I now have that image as the background to my laptop. I love it, but as I stated it scares me just a little. My youngest is growing up!!!

      Graham, than you as well. I have pride and love for all of my children. They are so very special to me, I can assure you. I worry that I show too much emotion to him but am comforted that he is comfortable showing it right back no matter where he is: inside, outside, at school, in front of his friends. I think they are a bit jealous that we can show our love so easily.

      Thank you both so much and many Blessings your way. Take care.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      8 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Well Mr Archer this was a pleasure to read. Your pride in your son, your love for your son is plain for all to see. All to many men show little emotion, we should let our children know that we love them. So you glimpsed the future. He will make you proud in the years ahead. Well done Sir!

      voted up and all.


    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      8 years ago from Norfolk

      May God Bless you and your son too Mr. Archer. Such a beautiful tribute to your son - thank you for sharing. I loved your poem and I loved the image of your son. Voted up.


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