Dads

Athletes and Grammy award winners are
always thanking God, their grannies or their mums
the trinity of effort, for bringing them this far,
and it’s not a competition but dads don’t get enough cred.
 
I know dads who take Mondays off to build treehouses for their daughters,
dads who trade Friday night boxing for after school ballets,
dads who take pay cuts and cancel flights to watch nativity plays,
dads who all of a sudden cannot believe this is their creation,
the best thing they have ever done, the only thing that matters
and their lives go from monochrome to rainbows.
I know dads with slipped discs who still take the risk of piggybacks
dads who give up cigs, trade beers for diapers, drop Subarus for Volvos
dads who cross deserts bare feet so their flock can rest
dads who trade their lungs as life jackets across the Med to make sure
their little ones can have a beginning.
Dads who for a second or more think they’re steel
when they stand in the way of bullets, bombs and falling roofs.
Dads who get up from rubble, flee and rebuild, still strive and provide
because that’s what dads do.
Dads try.
 
My dad is an “I love you” dad
he’s also an “not under my roof” dad
I know many “I’m proud of you” dads
many “I’ll kill you if you touch them” dads
lots of “what do you want for Christmas” dads
all of them are “I don’t know if I’m doing this right” dads.
 
My dad is an “I love you” dad
he’s also an “not under my roof” dad
sometimes, that’s really the same thing.

Privilege of Sonship

I no longer frown or scowl

When dad asks me to iron his shirt

This mundane physical task

Is no longer mind numbing

But in fact – humbling

To take out the creases on the

Garments of the man from which

I came

And I am

 

I no longer fume

When I’m called two floors up to pick up the phone

That is millimetres away from dad in the room

No, it’s a privilege for me

To say, every time “it’s for you”

 

I no longer declare adulthood

When I’m told to be home by twelve

See – it’s a privilege I’m not in total solitude

 

I don’t mean any of the above but I mean this:

 

It’s a privilege for me to carry

The title – son

 

Meant for those so young

But goes back to ancient civilisation

And will go on till the infinite generation

 

The right hand man

The crown prince

The heir

Bearer of the family name

 

Three letters with a heavy load

But in this abode the weight is easy

For you are my father

And the love that exists between you and I

Broadens my shoulders and

Strengthens my core

To run farther and fly further.

 

Thank you.