Fathers play the long game,
teaching us how to see
that being a man is more than
a gift of self-righteous dignity.
Fathers hold-it-in in hopes
that their own mistakes don’t bleed
the light out of the innocence
of our own dreams running free.
Fathers take it in the gut
every time we roll our eyes
at their precious living history
that seems to give us hives,
knowing that one day we
will understand their sacrifice;
they forego their own identities
in order that ours will rise.
But, I still remember that walk
when you taught me to roll up my sleeves,
and I even remember you showing
the places you called home on the streets.
And though it might have seemed
that I saw nothing of your dreams,
I secretly copied all of you that I could
while pretending it all was me.
And in the end I was molded by
not only your style but your smile,
though I developed my own bad habits
like the mood swings I let run wild.
Let me get right to the point
what I really wanted to say,
is Happy Birthday Dad! And thanks
for all the love you’ve shown my way.