Monthly Archives: June 2009

Way Late Father’s Day Present

I’m coming home in less than two week (EEP!), but I thought, hey, I posted a nice post for my Mom on her birthday, so it would only be fair for me to post a little something for my Pops, too… I don’t like playing favorites, after all. Well, not only has Father’s Day come and gone, but my Dad’s Birthday has also passed. My dad is a great, great, great man. When I was young, my mom would always tell my sister and I to look for a future husband who is like our dad. At the time, those words totally grossed me out in an Elektra-complex kind of way. Now, I totally see what she means, but I know that the task at hand is by default completely impossible! If you know my dad, you know there is absolutely no one else in the world like him. I’m posting a poem today that I wrote about my Pops a few years ago back when I was living in Santa Cruz. I don’t know what inspired it, but I just remember sitting up in bed late one night and the words just spilling out of my pen, and it’s my favorite poem so far. I’ll let the piece do the talking… but I just wanted to say that I love you, Daddy, and I’m so excited to see you in a few weeks!

I hear he was a natural.
Piano-Man daydreams turned reality for a sweet
He wanted to read the world in music
clumsy fingers striking black and white keys and he felt
a quick return to infancy.
Still they told him…
A Natural.”

Maybe music was inside of him.
Maybe he could rest his heart on an instrument
and let it’s pulse tell a story on its strings.
But instead,
He let me.
A girl at the tender age of 14
plucking out Dust in the Wind and Amazing Grace
He’d sing along
“Dust in the wind… all we are is dust in the wind…”
Silently he told me
“You’re a natural.”

I hear he was a natural.
Burying himself under blueprints and models
Whistling Frank Lloyd Wright anthems.
He’d practice drawing straight lines freehandedly
His imagination exposed candidly on drafting boards and
graph paper sketch pads.
He saw skyscraping towers and drew out their dimensions
as he climbed the stairs to a job that paid his mortgage
Forgetting architect dreams that were turned into a reality for a sweet
two years
He’d return home to draw out gemoetry sketches on my math homework
As i’d watch him freehand perfectly straight lines
as if it was all completely natural.

I see you
Trying to evade age with scalp massages
Your salt and pepper turned into a retreating hairline that
chased after your stories of 7-11 graveyard shifts to pay the bills.

I see you
Even when they don’t
When their intimidating pinstripes make you doubt yourself
When you ask me to proofread your resume.
In the cheesy jokes Umma doesn’t get and the
Bad one-pot meals made with love when she was sick.

I see you
A hero in every sense of the word.
With powers so hidden even you don’t see them
Under strength and humility. Driving back into your
superhero hide-out where
a hot dinner and petty arguments waited
for your victorious return.

I see you
Despite your silence.
Waiting for the right moment to speak
and always saying the unexpected at the perfect time.
Patience acquired through responsibility for the ones you love.
Patience big enough to let go of nature
and learn a new trade for those waiting at home.

I see you
Smiling like you’re hiding a secret
Under tears that hid too long beneath masculinity
Like an undecorated soldier-
Tired of the fight but so content to simply live
Watching daughters leave and son grow.
You signed a silent vow and sealed it with a kiss
to love us enough to forget your dreams
to love us enough to make us better without
to love us until it hurt
to love us until we stopped hurting you and then
to love us still

I see you.
In loving, I know
You are
A Natural



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