Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Father's Day memory

This Father's Day, I wanted to pay tribute to my dad with a poem I wrote a few years ago.

It recounts a memory from my childhood -- one that is actually related to Christmastime, so it's a little out of season.  But it's relevant because it acknowledges the kind of person my dad was and is: always helping and doing things for other people, without complaint. When you're a kid, it's so easy to take for granted the things your parents do; when you're older, those acts of sacrifice and service take on greater significance.

Happy Father's Day, Dad, and thanks for everything. I love you.

Christmas Concert

My dad walks down the lane in the dark 
– just a flashlight, snow knee-deep –
to brush off the truck and start it up.
Then it’s back to the barn to hitch the horse,
put bales of straw on the sleigh bottom,
and cover them with a horse-blanket.
My mom, my brothers, and I all climb on
for the short,unsteady ride
to the end of the lane,
listening to the stars shivering overhead
and the horse’s whooshing breaths.
We huddle into the warm truck
while my dad takes the horse
back to the barn, unhitches it, and walks
to the road once more
to drive us to the church.
After the concert, he does it again.
Patience is my dad’s red, scratchy face.
Goodness is the marks in the snow
from the horse’s hooves, the sleigh runners,
and my dad’s rubber boots.
Trust is a December night
– breathless cold, snow sparkling like jewels –
hardly needing to know
someone makes the wonder


  1. The goodness of his sacrifice for his family is shown in each of those marks in the snow, in the warmth of the truck, in the straw resting under the horse blanket. Thanks for sharing that night with us, Jeannie.

    1. You're welcome, Tim -- I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Hope you're having a great Father's Day.

  2. What a BEAUTIFUL poem, Jeannie. A beautiful memory. I could imagine myself in that sled. :-)

    1. Thank you, Betsy - I appreciate your reading and commenting, as always. I hope your family is having a very nice Father's Day celebration.

  3. Wonderful poem for a wonderful dad.
    Blessings Jeannie

  4. Thanks, Sarah! Hope you're doing well in your part of the world!


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