Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ode to DaDs

Was it the Marine Corps
that taught you cleanliness?

You taught me to scrub a commode
better than Mr. Clean
while you vaccumed our beige-carpeted and walled
garden apartment

You taught me to shake hands firmly
as a man would
especially a woman's

You taught me no hatred
of colored, or weak, or stupid, or foreign, or cruel
or poor ones;
to treat people with respect and intelligence
every time

You taught me respect for humanity
that The Tao
would not
until four years later

You taught me to tee my butts
and jam them in my back jean's pocket                                 
which my wife still uncovers in the wash
and hates finding the stinky things

You must've taught me to drive
your salmon '57 Chevy Bel Air hardtop with no posts               
and it was good enough
to earn my California license as a kid
despite running over curbs

And you taught me respect                        
for our many girlish dates                                                           
and of women likewise                                                                  
to love them all                                                                          
with "Treat women well."

And so "I Do" has meant more than mere words                       
after 43 years with my first wife;                                                     
a strong redhead                                                                           
you gave me courage to approach                                         
without fear of showing a good heart

And you Dad, you taught me responsibility also                            
to work dedicated at a job                                                           
and remain loyal                                                                            
as you supported a family of four at first                                    
then five, then six, seven, eight and nine

And though I never drove your faded green Ford Fairlane            
I remember family Sunday drives                                           
around the gorgeous Delaware Valley                                            
in cold, cool, warm then humid seasons

And you taught me                                                                        
that our recalcitrant decrepit lawnmower                                  
could be repaired                                                                             
by your tenacity                                                                            
and cunningly constructed temporary fixes

So I don't give up hope easily,                                              
fulfilling my Taurean nature

And I learned to arrive early                                                    
which increases my sweetheart's lovingness                                
not keeping her waiting

You both gave me freedom to break rules                                   
and I broke them                                                                          
until one of you said                                                                   
"He must go to his Father."

How else would I have learned                                                       
to tee and clean                                                                               
to respect and drive                                                                         
to dedicate and not be late and                                                        
to love without fear?

Thank you DaDs!                                                                  
Rodney Senior my first and least known                                 
Ralph Senior my last for near on five decades

What's in a Dad's name or appelation?                                     
except example and words?

Sad to think both of you gone physically                                     
but not spiritually                                                                           
not internally                                                                                 
not emotionally                                                                              
not laughably                                                                                
not memorably                                                                                                       
Because I Am your Junior Apprentice

Copyright 2015 Rodney Richards                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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