Dear Dad

You taught me how to ride a bike and how to tell a joke.
To make up before the sun went down and that promises mustn’t be broke.
You taught me to be generous but also how to save.
You taught me books are precious things and showed me what was brave.

Not to sulk or bear a grudge, the importance of forgiving,
To never take a sickie and work hard to make a living.
That good friends and your family are the greatest kind of wealth.
(And that ever being rude to mum was dangerous for my health.)

And now as my own children grow, I wish that you were here.
With every milestone they achieve and more each passing year.
I wish that they could know you; I just wish that you were there.
I wonder what you’d think of them, my precious crazy pair?

But then I open up my mouth and it’s your voice comes out.
When I tell them to ‘breathe through your nose’ or “I’m right here, don’t shout!’
I hear you when I read to them (though my voice is not as deep.)
And I often use your Beatles songs to sing them off to sleep.

I make them laugh when they hurt themselves just as you would do.
The jokes I tell to make them smile were the ones I learned from you.
My arms that hold them, lips that kiss, were the ones you made for me
And sometimes in a smile, a frown, in them it’s you I see.

And then I know that you are here, in everything I do.
In every word and thought and deed, your influence comes through.
And I smile and know that you’re not gone, I still have what I had.
I’m the parent that I am today, because you were my Dad.

Emma Robinson (2014)

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