Father’s Day Poem for My Dad

You took me down a narrow path.  It was my first

awareness of both shade and forest, strapped

in a seat on the back of your bike. 

We fell, but if it hurt I don’t remember.  It’s the joy

of being with you that stays in my mind.

I know we teach our sons the things we love, the invisible

paths of golf balls through the air, cue balls on a field

of orange felt, or long, high, home run balls flying

through warm summer air as we sat watching from the

upper deck overhang.

I don’t remember when you took me down the driveway

for the first time, or the trails our skis left in the snow

the day you did that.  I remember trailing you

much later, down snowy slopes.

This is the path that I followed, the path you

started even when it took me places

you would not go.  My sons have walked through

rain, mosquitoes, dust, and mud on islands

and in forests, sleeping on the ground  The path I followed

driving in the winter morning darkness

with two quiet boys holding sleepy conversations

in the back seat on the way to soccer games.  The things

we love are almost never things.

The path I follow now, not knowing where it goes

but knowing always that the best part is who we are with.

Ahead of me, you showed me how to be a father

and when you lead the way, you brought my sons along.

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