Hanging with My Dad

He hangs upon my office wall
A reminder that he’s gone
But also that he was once here

Well, not here, in my office, of course
He was long dead before this room, this building existed

But here, in my life, loving me
Loving his mother, his wife, his siblings
Loving life itself with great joy

He is surrounded on these walls
By artwork created by his grandson
The one who is his spitting image
But who has never met him
Except when he looks in a mirror and sees
Long legs and arms, spindly wrists and big hands
A thick shock of hair and a mile-wide grin

I remember he was an awesome dad
The kind of dad who teased, which I didn’t like,
But also encouraged me to read and to learn
Got me my first car and taught me to drive
Worried when I drove too fast, too far, too recklessly

I remember getting cards from him in college
With a $20 bill and a note,
“Here’s some mad money for you.
Don’t tell your mom. Love, Dad.”

I remember when he died, though I wasn’t there
I didn’t come when he called, but delayed
Was too late, always too late

I wish for my son memories of his grandfather
But it’s too late for that, too


I’m sharing this today for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night, but it’s in response to last week’s Poetics prompt that I missed about hanging around.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


21 Responses

  1. Your poem is a loving tribute to your dad, Linda. My mum and dad are both here with me in my study, not hanging but on my bookshelf in small frames. They watch me as I write.

  2. Oh my gawd Linda, you put tears in my eyes. So much we leave until it’s too late. I was an orphan who was lucky enough to be adopted by an amazing man. I loved him dearly. I made certain my children knew their father loved them. That was i,portsnt to me. I am so sorry your children never got to feel their grandfather’s hug. I have one grandchild, a grandson. He is 5-years-old, and my wife and I live with him and his parents, in a wonderful home his they provide. My health points to my not bring around too much longer, but I have willed myself to stay here as long as I can, to know my grandson, and for him to have tactile active memories of me. I hug him everyday, and look into his eyes when I tell him I love him. This was a very moving poem Linda, very moving!

  3. Yes, often we lament things unsaid, and we’re left full of words in our sorrow. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Linda, reading this poem, I felt like you were talking about my own dad. And yes, did he ever love to tease my cousins, along with my brother and I. Last November, marked the 20th anniversary of his death, where I was able to good-bye to him, before he is death. I know, within your and mine hearts, we keep our dads alive, to share with others.

  5. A lovely tribute to your father. Too many of us lost parents too soon; my mother died of cancer at 39. I get that sinking feeling of /too late/, yet your poetry fills some gaps.

  6. Wow, very poignant. My grandfather used to send me money in a card for my bday with a note that said “mad money.” I haven’t heard that expression in quite some time.

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