My Dad’s Hands
Bedtime came, we were settling down,
I was holding one of my lads.
As I grasped him so tight, I saw a strange sight:
My hands. . .they looked like my dad’s!
I remember them well, those old gnarled hooks,
there was always a cracked nail or two.
And thanks to a hammer that strayed from its mark,
his thumb was a beautiful blue!
They were rough, I remember, incredibly tough,
as strong as a carpenter’s vice.
But holding a scared little boy at night,
they seemed to me awfully nice!
The sight of those hands – how impressive it was
in the eyes of his little boy.
Other dads’ hands were cleaner, it seemed
(the effects of their office employ).
I gave little thought in my formative years
of the reason for Dad’s raspy mitts:
The love in the toil, the dirt and the oil,
rusty plumbing that gave those hands fits!
Thinking back, misty-eyed, and thinking ahead,
when one day my time is done.
The torch of love in my own wrinkled hands
will pass on to the hands of my son.
I don’t mind the bruises, the scars here and there
or the hammer that just seemed to slip.
I want most of all when my son takes my hand,
to feel that love lies in the grip.
Fathers Can Be Solitary Mountains
Fathers can be solitary mountains,
All their love rock-like, steep, and strong.
Though warm and caring, somehow they belong
Halfway home to mothers’ bubbling fountains.
Each of us needs love that knows no quarter,
Reminding us of bonds that cross a border,
Strengthening our sense of right and wrong.
Grandfathers Are Fathers Who Are Grand
Grandfathers are fathers who are grand,
Restoring the sense that our most precious things
Are those that do not change much over time.
No love of childhood is more sublime,
Demanding little, giving on demand,
Far more inclined than most to grant the wings
Allowing us to reach enchanted lands.
Though grandfathers must serve as second fathers,
Helping out with young and restless hearts,
Each has all the patience wisdom brings,
Remembering our passions more than others,
Soothing us with old and well-honed arts.
When I was just a tiny kid,
Do you remember when,
The time you kissed my bruises,
Or cleaned by soiled chin?
You scrambled for the balls I hit,
(Short-winded more than not,)
Yet, every time we’d play a game,
You praised the “outs” I caught.
It seems like only yesterday,
You wiped away my tears,
And late at night I called your name,
To chase away my fears.
Though time has changed your handsome grip,
Your hair is snowy white,
You gait’s a little slower now,
Thick glasses help your sight.
Oh, do I thirst for years gone by,
To be that growing lad,
Re-living all of the memories,
Of growing with my dad.