Dad always loved words–
long ones, short ones,
tall ones, and fat ones.
He especially adored unique words
ringing in your ears like musical notes.
He minced words every chance he got,
and he still does at eighty-five.
Good-spirited verbal volleyball was his sport.
No crossword puzzle was safe for long
when Dad had a sharp pencil in his left hand.
Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary was his best friend,
and Roget’s Thesaurus was a close runner up.
Dad loved writing poetry.
Not something most millwrights do
in their spare time.
Every morning the muse danced for him, and
there were poems about nature, the Holy Spirit,
and anything else lending itself to rhyme.
Yes, Dad liked rhyming poems best–
those sounding like harps, guitars and pianos.
Each poem, when finished, was always printed
ever so neatly in Dad’s best handwriting
with a blue ballpoint pen.
Much later, of course, he turned
to the old black Royal typewriter
that went clackety clack,
when its silver keys were pressed into action.
Yes, my Dad had a love affairs with words,
and everyone who knew him
knew of his passion for morphemes, collocations, idioms,
phrases, colloquialisms, and euphemisms.
And everyone was surprised
that a man turning wrenches for a living
could turn heads and hearts with his words.
Most of all,
Dad was a man of his word.
His word was never idle chatter
nor meaningless fill for empty spaces
on a page or in a conversation.
Like most men of their word,
Dad opted for silence
over promises he could never keep.
Thanks Dad for teaching me to love words
and for insisting that I live up to my word.
Click here to hear me read this poem.
(Takes a few minutes to download.)