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A poem for my dad on father's day, 2002

when i was little
i knew one kind of father
the kind that tells stories
and makes pizza
and pull splinters out of your feet

i thought every father
was like my father
brave and strong
and ready with hugs

i thought every dad
was like my dad
and loved their kids
to the moon and back

when i got older
not much older
but old enough
i met other kinds of dads

angry fathers
and mean drunk fathers
and fathers who never told jokes
and never bought ice cream
and never, ever hugged

when i got older
old enough to know
that it takes all kinds
i heard of other kinds of dads

absentee fathers
uknown fathers
fathers who hit and screamed and yelled
fathers who walked out
turned their backs
and never returned

and as i got older still
i realized
that people with bad fathers
always tell the stories
and the people with good fathers
never did
maybe because they didn't want
their friends to be jealous

so i told my stories:
my dad tells jokes;
my dad listens to me
when i tell really boring
drawn out dreams;
my dad makes banana splits
on sunday nights;
my dad loves me
to the moon and back

and sometimes
kids would come over
and not want to leave
my dad listened to them
even when they told boring stories
he taught them really bad puns
and let them swim in the pool
and track water in the house
and leave their wet towels on the lawn
and he never yelled or chased the kids home

and then i got older and realized
first hand
what it's like to be a parent
and i could see how
i caused him aggravation and heartache
and more than once
i caused him to shake his head in disbelief

he wished my kids on me,
whispered to them when they were babies
'cause as much trouble to your mother
as she caused to me'
and he grinned while he said it

and the older i get
the more the more i know
of how hard it is to love your kids
to the moon and back
without ever once
wanting to jump ship

Thank you dad, for sticking by me, for always being there, for accepting me for who I am, and most of all, for being there to fill in the spaces in Natalie and DJ's lives.


Sounds like you have a great father. I hope my daughters have such nice memories when they've grown.

again, Michele, you rock, and so does your father.

There have been times, Michele, when I read your blog and thought you were my long-lost sister. Now that I've heard you describe your father, I know for sure!

Happy father's day to your dad (kiss him for me and let him know I'm OK) and mine!