When I was a kid, a father was like the light
in a refrigerator. Every house had one, but nobody
knew what either of them did once the door was shut.
My dad left the house every morning and always
seemed glad to see everyone at night.
He opened the jar of pickles when nobody else could.
He was the only one in the house who wasn't afraid to
go to the basement by himself.
He cut himself shaving, but no one kissed it or got
excited about it.
It was understood whenever it rained, he got the car
and brought it around to the door.
When anyone was sick, he got the prescription filled.
He set mousetraps, cut back the roses to the thorns,
wouldn't clip you when you came to the front door.
When I got a bike, he ran alongside me for at least
a thousand miles until I got the hang of it.
I was afraid of everyone else's father, but not my own.
Once I made him tea. It was only sugar water, but he sat
on a small chair and said it was delicious.
Whenever I played house, the mother doll had a lot to
I never knew what to do with the daddy doll, so I had
him say, "I'm going off to work now," and threw him
When I was nine years old, my father didn't get up one
morning and go to work.
He went to the hospital and died the next day.
I went to my room and felt under my bed for the daddy
doll. When I found him, I dusted him off and put him on
He never did anything - I didn't know his leaving would
hurt so much. I still don't know why.
turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou
hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and
not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto
thee for ever.