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Help Me Be Like Dad

"Hurry, son, get saddled."  I miss those words, you know.
The old man said em often enough from the time I was six or so.

It always tickles me looking back cause I'd stand right there and yawn.
Hell, I was most of fourteen before I learned to put my own tack on.

It kind of took him back some, he hollered when I asked.
Said, "I ain't got time for games, go tend your own equine task!"

I just stared at him bewildered. I said, "Dad, I don't know how."
I never dreamed that hurt him, but I guess I know it now.

You see, Dad thought he'd failed me, which I didn't understand.
I thought he'd always bailed me out to lend a loving hand.

But now I've got kids of my own and when I'm in a hurry
It's easier just to do for them so I don't have to worry.

But what will they do when I'm gone?  Who will they count on then?
Learning to do for themselves will bring a calm assurance within.

It isn't hard to figure.  Don't take rocket science math.
Teach a kid the right trail to take and he'll never stray far off the path.

Well, after he'd showed me how easy it was, Dad ambled back inside.
If he's like me, he genuflected and to his maker cried.

He begged the Lord's forgiveness and thanked him for a son
Who'd teach him how to be dad, or at least a better one.

Now Lord, my prayer is simple.  You know I don't need much.
I've never asked for riches, or fancy stuff and such.

Just help me be like Dad, Lord, cause he's so much like you.
And keep him safe, for when he's gone, who will I look to?

1996, Robert (Bud) Isaacs
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Bud told us: I wrote this poem for my dad on Father's Day of '96. My dad has always been my hero and I wanted him to know that I appreciate all he has taught me. Even when he thought he was failing, he was still an example of unconditional love and support. When I wrote this poem I was thinking of all the time we spent together when I was a kid and missing the time we spent together. Since that time he and I have been able to spend some time with my boys and renew our friendship. It has been a real treat for me to see the pride in Dad's eyes as he watches me and my family grow and I take it as the ultimate compliment when someone says to me, "You are just like your dad."



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