My Father ran track in Kansas during High School,
He told us how he was small, but fast, and he could out-run
any of the boys on the Football Team.
When my Brother didn’t get his growth spurt early enough he said:
“Don’t worry, it just takes a little time.”
My Father is the man that his Father wasn’t,
the kind of man who declined late meetings and weekend business trips
because they would take him away from his family.
He is the kind of man who helped me struggle through Algebra,
and got as excited as I did when I brought home essays stamped with A’s.
A man who took time to teach me the difference between southern rock
and classic rock, drumming out the beats on his steering wheel,
and laughing that he couldn’t hit the high notes that Steve Perry could.
He wears a suit and tie to work, and with his sunglasses on
people have mistaken him for an agent about to bring in someone for questioning.
But I know better.
I’ve seen him carry my sleepy sister from the car and tuck her into bed
I’ve heard him checking the locks on the doors
after the house goes quiet at night.
I’ve been with him when he pauses to rescue earthworms
who have become trapped on the sidewalk during summer
and watched him return them to the cool ground.
He is the man I want my son to be, and the person I want my daughter to admire.
He knows I need him as much now as I did the day I was born,
and he doesn’t laugh at me for that.
My brother finally got his growth spurt, but the last time they raced,
I think my Dad let him win.