When I was younger,
I remember tense silences
And fights that never went above a whisper.
I remember his absence so clearly
Even though he's back, in a way
Who knew that the word 'Daddy'
Could hold so much safety?
I don't even remember when
I switched to 'Dad', but it was never as reassuring
You can't re-do this parent thing.
This is a trial-and-error gig,
But you've got one slate.
You can't wipe this clean.
Don't make your kids recall
The endless litany of "I'm busy."
Let them remember you
By terrible dad jokes,
By attempts to understand teenage culture,
By old rock-and-roll music playlists
I'm a kid at heart
(Who can grow up like this?)
And all I ever wanted
Was my dad to say "I'm proud of you"
Just once would have been enough.
Don't make your kids feel like this.