A Letter To Dad

I should have listened when you talked

of growing up on the farm in Acushnet

and of all that meant to you.

 

I should have listened when you told

your tales from the CCC

and of all the exciting things you did.

 

I should have listened to your stories

of how you earned what little money you could

when money was so scarce.

 

I should have paid attention

when you wanted to show me how to fix a car

and tell me of your years as a mechanic.

 

I should have paid attention

when you told me how to hoe a row

and properly plant string beans.

 

I should have listened when you told me

what it took to be a man

of character, principles and integrity.

 

I should have listened more closely

to your dreams and hopes for the future…

and for me.

 

I should have seized the chances to go fishing again

just me and you, and sit on the rock at Sakonnet Point

while you told me one more time about the ones that got away.

 

But there was a movie playing

my friends and I just had to see.

It’s title escapes me now.

 

I should have sought those times

when you were so willing and anxious

to give me advice.

 

But I looked at your sixth grade education

and wondered what you could possibly know

then sallied forth on my own juvenile wisdom.

 

I should have listened

when each night you knelt

and prayed for your family

 

But I had a book to read

or a TV show to watch.

And what did prayer yield anyway?

 

I should have cherished the times

you rubbed my back when I was sick.

And stroked my head when I cried.

 

But I resented the intrusion

And though I wouldn’t say it

I just wanted you to go away.

 

I saw you recently.

You looked the same and you smiled the same.

Your voice sounded the same.

 

I wanted to tell you how I find myself

in unguarded moments

doing things you used to do and saying things you used to say.

 

I wanted to hold your hand

and ask you about all those things

you tried to tell me years ago.

 

But you didn’t know me

and my questions confused you.

We filled the time playing checkers

 

I can no longer ask you about

who you were and thereby

learn more of who I am.

 

I can only love you

And though you’re right in front of me

I miss you.

 

© March 2004

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2 Responses to A Letter To Dad

  1. Reblogged this on thoughtboarding and commented:
    A person simply cannot and should not walk away the same person after reading this.
    Your message is powerful, and it’s delivery is eloquent, and poignant.
    People need to read and share this.

  2. A person simply cannot and should not walk away the same person after reading this.
    Your message is powerful, and it’s delivery is eloquent, and poignant.
    People need to read and share this.

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