I wrote this poem several years ago and it has sat in the bottom draw ever since. Being Father’s Day in Australia, I thought it was time I put it out there.
I wish I’d known my father, by more than just a name
By more than just a photo in a tarnished picture frame
If he’d stayed a little longer, would things be just the same?
Would I be any different, knowing more than just a name?
The man I know as Father, to me will never change
To me he was never young, to me he’ll never age
A photo and a name it’s sad, is all I have to hold
The only thing I have of Dad, to cherish as I grow old.
As a boy he was just a figure, who was never ever there
I figure in my imagination, too young to really care
But as the years do grow on me, his memory I’d like to share
With others who have loved him, and to whom my Dad is dear.
When he died in ’45, I was only six months old
Mum was left with four of us, four lives alone to mould
I took too much for granted, as young folk often do
Not realising till much later, the job she’d had to do.
She did it with magnificence, always putting herself last
Giving us all she could, to see we got the chance
To always be like other kids, and never missing out
On things we thought important, and to learn what life’s about.
I am today proud to be, known as my Mother’s son
I wouldn’t have it any other way, wouldn’t change with anyone
But still I find it hard to place, my father, the man, with just a face
The face that always stays the same, known to me by just a name.
Who am I to wonder, if I would be the same
If he’d stayed a little longer, been more than just a name
I am grateful to my Mother, for fulfilling both the roles
For being Mum and Father, a task that takes its tolls.
I wish I’d known my father, by more than just a name. By more than just a photo in a tarnished picture frame.