My Dad (Poem and Audio)

This is a reposting to combine the audio of my sharing the poem during the closing of the 2016 Father’s Day worship service at Deer Run with the words I had published two years earlier for Father’s Day 2014.


My Dad

It’s getting late,
     I should be in bed.
But it seems like a poem
     is stuck in my head.
It rolls around in there
     and seems to want out.
To be set in print,
     to stop rolling about.

So here I am,
     with keyboard and mouse.
Alone in the basement
     of a quiet house.
The topic is fitting –
     all good, nothing bad.
A poem’s trying to form
     that would honor my dad!

A harder worker,
     I surely don’t know.
He taught me so much
     by the seeds he did sow.
And while there was much
     he did plant in the ground.
It was seeds full of wisdom
     that did always abound.

I know there were days
     that he probably thought.
Will these boys of mine
     ever do what they ought?
I’m so very glad
     that my dad still can see.
Just what kind of man,
     that I’m growing to be.

As I look back in time
     and down through the years.
I pray that my life now
     has made up for the tears.
I learned how to work
     and I learned how to play.
From my mom and dad
     as they showed me the way.

Dad worked very hard —
     in fact, he still does.
It’s his way of life,
     not just something that was.
But even in work,
     there was room for fun.
Dad helped me to see,
     I needed both, not just one.

Some days at the sawmill,
     we’d walk home through the wood.
And jump in the pond,
     like every boy should.
There always were chores
     that had to be done.
But when they were finished,
     there was still time for fun.

Dad doesn’t say much,
     but that is okay.
For I understand,
     I am much the same way.
His actions speak louder
     than words ever can.
I know he’s beside me,
     as my biggest fan.

There is so much I do,
     as I step back and look.
That I learned from my dad,
     it can’t be found in a book.
Dad showed me how 
     to invest life in life.
As he builds up his children
     and loves his own wife.

I’m sure there are things
     that are clear in my mind.
That if I could see now,
     something different I’d find.
My recollection —
     of vacations, you see.
Dad would stop anywhere,
     as long as it was free!

State parks were the norm,
     of places we’d go.
We could have lots of fun
     without spending much dough.
So when I grew older,
     and out on my own.
I have often returned
     to where those seeds were sown.

To visit some places
     where memories were made.
I’ve taken my family,
     and we’d walk in the shade.
The example that I saw,
     in the childhood I had.
Was a home full of love,
     and a great mom and dad.

I could go on,
     with this poem for a while.
When I think of my dad,
     I can’t help but smile.
He lives life each day,
     to the best that he can.
And when I grow up,
     I want to be like that man!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

As the day came to a close with Father’s Day just around the corner, this poem began to form in my mind. I am thankful for the dad that God has given me and I pray that I honor him not just with some words, but with my life.

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