Jun. 19, 2022

My Dad

I don't remember my dad
Ever playing a game with us,
Or taking a walk in the park.
Or going out to dinner,
Or taking family vacations.
Sadly, I cannot lay claim to,
Nor savor such precious
Childhood memories.
He smoked and drank -
Although I never saw him stumble.

But I do remember him cooking,
And feeding us.
And changing diapers.
And giving us nasty medicines
Whenever we were sick with a cold,
Flu, fever, or stomach ache.
Or whenever we sustained
Scratches and bruises.

I remember how he, along with Mom,
Made us go to school -
Come sunshine, rain, sleet or snow,
Even when we didn't want to go.

I remember how he'd buy us
'Back to school' clothing.
Christmas gifts. And Easter attire.
And how he gave us a monetary gift
For every birthday.

And I remember him working day
And night (especially the graveyard shift)
to support his family.
I remember the souvenir gifts
(Whether ink pen, clock, watch, or cufflinks)
He was awarded as a faithful
And dedicated employee,
Which set an example for his children.
And I distinctly remember him
Writing checks to pay the bills each month.

Many a time, I saw him reaching out
To help the neighbors.
I saw him respecting the elderly.
And I remember him (a poor man)
Eagerly giving of his meager means
To support the various causes he favored.
And that was my dad.
(6/20/22 revision)

Walterrean Salley