If I had the opportunity to choose my own father,
I wouldn’t choose him because of his wealth,
Or because of his looks – not colour, hair, gait, height or weight;
I wouldn’t choose him because of how well read he is, but for his wisdom;
Me calling you ‘father’ is a heavy responsibility I lay at your feet,
Which you take with grace.
I do not call you ‘father’ because I’m forced to,
But because I hope to, want to, and love to,
It is an assurance I carry like a banner, something to lean against.
I do not call you ‘father’ just to honor you,
Because deep down I’m a little selfish,
I hold you up as a shield,
Knowing you’ll brave mortal peril for my sake.
I do not call you ‘father’ just to be nice and sweet,
Because deep down I’ve got an inkling of the courage it takes,
To face these responsibilities, the weights of hidden potential,
The charge of the vision for that desired future.
When I call you ‘father’, sometimes it’s with pity,
Because I know you have a lot to measure up to
– ‘Mission Impossible’ on a divine scale –
Made only possible by that salient Grace.
When I call you ‘father’, I probably have a request,
It might be unreasonable, possibly demanding,
And definitely for my pleasure…but hey, you could say no,
And I can pass my fingers through your hair,
Or hover around your feet,
Or bawl like there’s no tomorrow,
Threaten to make myself dirty…well, you still could say no,
But you really can’t fault me for trying.
When I call you ‘father’, I’m probably overwhelmed to see you:
Because you’ve shown up for me when I’m ashamed to show my face;
Because you call me ‘my child’,
When I’ve done everything to make it clear I wasn’t worth the effort;
Because every so often there’s an understanding smile,
When I’m expecting palpable rage;
Because sometimes I’m groping in the dark, lost, tired, and alone,
And you come along with a flashlight and ask if I want a piggyback ride.
When I call you ‘father’, it’s with no opaqueness,
Because you’ve seen me at my best and at my worst,
In my obliviousness and in my rebellion,
Right on to when I gathered a semblance of sanity.
When I call you ‘father’, it is to imprint upon myself:
What I hope to be, and the things I need to avoid,
The sacrifices I might need to make,
The legacy I wish to leave behind,
The man I desire to be, and the foundation I need to lay.
When I call you ‘father’, it is a lot more than a six letter word;
Because no dictionary can define the complexity of the thoughts,
The depth of the emotions and considerations,
The weights of the hope and trust,
I attach to each laden syllable.
#Happy Father’s Day