Father’s Day: A Poem

Birthdays are the only holidays
where everyone celebrates
the one thing
that your mother got right
and your father half right.

Fathers spend
the rest of their days
trying to catch up
with that perfection
mothers achieved
on the day
of your birth.

They manage to get it
sort of perfect
towards the last
quarter of their lives
after getting
the work thing right,
the marriage thing
right or wrong,
and the child rearing thing
more or less right
after applying the wisdom
and experience of the ages,
commonly known as making
every mistake in the book
and than some.

Those father’s that haven’t achieved
parental perfection by then,
as a last resort,
will simply throw
their hands up in the air,
grab the closes
related child to them,
hug them in a squeeze so tight
that the child would want
to do a Benjamin Button reverse
and escape back into
the nearest maternal womb,
only to rebirth themselves
when the father exclaims,
the two phrases the child
has been waiting to hear
his/her entire life:
“I love you ____
(insert child’s name).
I’m sorry ___
(insert child’s full legal name).”

If the child isn’t
teary-eyed by then
and hasn’t recited
back to the father
the Voldermort phrases
(of which every child
wants to hear
but never hears uttered)
from above than
the child is
simply in shock
and may take months
and years to respond—
and then,
only at your funeral.

God will give the father
that child’s note
when the father
gets to heaven.

If the father
never gets the note
than he is not in heaven.