My Father, My Hero

If you enjoy writing, I highly recommend writing a poem for someone you love. I wrote several poems for my Dad to let him know how much he means to me. He hung them above his desk. I wrote this poem in 1989 and gave it to him as a birthday gift.

dad plane

“My Father, My Hero”

As usual, I couldn’t think of a gift to get my #1 Dad.
I couldn’t see buying you another shirt in plaid.
So I decided to write you a birthday rhyme,
Because there’s a lot I want to say and this is the time.

From Space Invaders to your favorite yellow chair,
Whenever I’ve needed you, you’ve been there.
From letting out the dog at twelve-o’clock at night,
To starting fires and taking the garbage out of sight.

From the day I could walk and eventually run up the stairs,
From telling me how gas used to be 50 cents until they raised the fares.
From being away and still talking to you on the line,
These are memories that are just yours and mine.

Getting haircuts together every six weeks or so,
Teaching me to drive: “Okay, start. Stop! Okay, go.”
Every time we’ve gone somewhere, even shopping at the mall,
I never once was afraid, not ever at all.

Your 57′ Chevy is a memory from the past,
But you and I will always last.
Whenever I worry I can’t get something done,
I hear you say, “Andrew, big guy, that’s what I’m here for son.”

When our family goes to restaurants, you always open and hold the door,
You aren’t just a father, you’re much much more.
The way I’ll repay you for all you’ve done,
Will be the way I treat my #1 son.
I’ll tell him all the stories that you’ve told me that were really cool,
When Milky Ways were a nickel and you rode your pet dinosaur to school.

All the tennis lessons and the Yankee fights,
Going to the Knicks games on Saturday nights.
There’s nothing like it, having a father like you,
You make every experience fun, whether old or new.

Playing wiffle ball in the backyard, remember “The Goose?”
Whenever our family has a squabble, you make the truce.
For a father, you really are the best example,
I wouldn’t trade you for a 1952 Mickey Mantle.

And pretzels — two, three, four, and then five bags a week!
All the stops we made searching for a special antique.
Baseball cards and taking me to fleas and shows,
Where you got your patience, nobody knows.

Those garage sales in New York, twelve times a year,
The Gittlesons, Franks, and Kolks, they were all so near.
I’ll never forget the time you spent with me,
Your calm approach to life is the ultimate key.

As I move through my life, I’ll bring along the thought,
That I owe you so much for everything you’ve taught.
As a kid, I’ve often sat and thought about all the experiences I had,
And I said to myself, “When I grow up, I want to be, just like my Dad.”

I love you.

Your #1 Son

April 1989

7 thoughts on “My Father, My Hero

  1. This is wonderful (especially the part where he rides his pet dinosaur to school)!
    The amazing thing about real love is that it is exponential. Each person feels like they are receiving so much and could not possibly give back enough. In fact they are generating an overflow of positive energy that beautifully affects everyone around them. Though your dad has stepped behind the curtain of this material world, that parental love continues to shine brightly through you.

    1. Thank you. My father had a terrific sense of humor. I continue to feel his love every day and sometimes I can hear his laugh. I was listening to Car Talk on NPR yesterday and thought of how much he enjoyed that show.

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