My 2005 Father’s Day Poem


Al BoothCard shopping for Father’s Day can be a challenge for me. Think about it for a couple of minutes and you will understand. So in 2005 I made a homemade card for my Dad using my computer and my ahhh… gift of rhyme. Coincidentally (?) my Dad loves poetry. He has all of Robert Burns’ works in his library. When he read this poem tears streamed down his face and after he finished he said, “I was walkin’ in the dark in broad daylight!” So here is the cliff notes version of my last 3 posts.

I was Lookin’ for my Father
by ric booth (for dad on Father’s day 2005)

i was lookin’ for my father, i was very young
at five i lost my dad; my pain had just begun
away we ran, out of mind out of sight
i was walkin’ in the dark in broad daylight

mom found a new home and a new father
i wet my new bed, why even bother
a new start, new school, so much fun
but He knew nothin’s new under this sun

i learned to love my step-dad like my very own
worlds apart at six but who could have known
he loved to hunt an’ to work all day long
he was always right, never ever wrong

i loved heinlein, asimov, an’ herbert’s dune
i was readin’ scifi and going to the moon
i wrote with my left hand, he with his right
he sweated all day; i stargazed all night

i was lookin’ for my father when i was just a teen
lost in the same house, so much space between
i wrote with my left hand, he with his right
i was walkin’ in the dark in broad daylight

my grandpa died, i was an angry young man
still lookin’ for my father; still sinking in the sand
i saw my abandoner by his father’s grave
i turned an’ abandoned him; to sin i was a slave

i was lookin’ for my father when my step-dad was dyin’
i thought i had found him; we hugged an’ he was cryin’
i asked God -one miracle – so simple and small
i just want a father; one healing that was all

at my step-dad’s funeral from me a tear never fell
my outside was a rock, my inside… was pure hell
for Him i felt contempt; He made me suffer loss!
i took His outstretched hand and nailed it to the cross

stopped lookin’ for my father; no one left in sight
still walkin’ in the dark in broad daylight
at work i was the hero; they gave me lots of props
at life i grew absent; my children i knew not

one day i gave my child five dollars in some change
the ER called me later to say they’d found cocaine
disgusted i demanded, “child, just tell me why!”
“i was lookin’ for my father!” echoed her reply

i was lookin’ for some answers in His book one day
one thing i was lacking was all i heard Him say
lookin’ at His hands and the scars i had made
reachin’ out for Him; from myself i was saved

i was lookin’ for my father; three decades have gone by
i knew my search was over; when i saw Him in Dad’s eyes
father an’ son together; yet we knew there was another
in Him i found my Father an’ in Dad i found a brother

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18 Responses

  1. Ric, I just read through the last 4 post and, once again, am totally speechless. Just fighting back the tears. Or at least trying until I read this…

    “at my step-dad’s funeral from me a tear never fell
    my outside was a rock, my inside… was pure hell
    for Him i felt contempt; He made me suffer loss!
    i took His outstretched hand and nailed it to the cross”

    Ric, I don’t know what to say. It amazes me how much our youth deal with, or don’t deal with. I am praising God for the man you have become. For reconciliation. For healing. For grace and mercy.

  2. That was a very emotional and moving story. Thanks for posting it. A father and son sharing a hug for the first time in 33 years, what a great picture that makes.

    Both you and your father have found what you needed. I am very happy for the both of you.

    I was drawn to the following lines in your poem:

    “away we ran, out of mind out of sight
    i was walkin’ in the dark in broad daylight”

    “i was lookin’ for my father when i was just a teen
    lost in the same house, so much space between”

    “for Him i felt contempt; He made me suffer loss!
    i took His outstretched hand and nailed it to the cross”

    “lookin’ at His hands and the scars i had made
    reachin’ out for Him; from myself i was saved”

    “father an’ son together; yet we knew there was another
    in Him i found my Father an’ in Dad i found a brother”

  3. have they read, “the wall, the fall, and the King”?

  4. Tam – I think my life has given me more compassion than most for the irritable, curt, and rude. When someone is angry, I wonder to myself how many years they’ve been holding it in. I know 99 outta 100 people are like me… raised in a home where God is at best completely misrepresented or at worst intentionally held in contempt.

    Ed – Yeah, I was thinking if ever there was like a male version of a Lifetime network I could submit my story 😀 Thanks for sticking with me as I dragged you through my mud in the last 4 posts. Thanks for sharing where my poem drew you in… that is cool.

    badguy – Who’s “they”? hehe… no I have not posted the parable-ized rendition.

  5. You’re adoring fans, of course!

    I do admire the gentleness of your spirit – and your transparency.

    is ‘the wall…” out of print?

  6. adoring fans… I’m fantasizing about this… give me a moment

    Ok, I’m back. “gentleness of your spirit” … observations like this often cause Patti to shoot whatever she is drinking right out her nose.

    out of print… man you press, press, press don’t ya! Oh right, I’m gentle.

    Ok, the predecessor to this blog-site is found here: http://www.wanttogetwell.org on that site you will find a link in the left navigation bar called, “The Wall, the Fall, and The King.” I have moved over snippets of that site to here. The site is set to expire the 20th of this month so visit soon.

  7. “The Wall, the Fall, and the King”

    Hugely (is that a word? =) insightful story!!
    Thanks b4dguy for prying it out of him.

    D-

  8. Hahaha… thanks D.

    Yes, Badguy can be very prying.

  9. “gentleness of your spirit” – hey I was just trying to be positive and upbeat…

    just tell her I said it – she’ll understand.

  10. hahaha…

    ok so here’s the scenario, Patti’s coughing and catching her breath and then I say, “Oh yeah, Badguy said that.”

    Patti says: (a) Oh why didn’t you say so? Now I understand. (b) Who’s badguy? (c) Great. I think you two will make a nice couple.

  11. I’m glad you posted the stories before the poem. I don’t think I would have understood much of the poem without the background info…

    Someone said they appreciated you transparency: I agree with that. Thanks. That level of transparency takes a level of self-awareness that I don’t think I’ve achieved. I think I ‘d like to, though. Thanks for showing me how.

    Are we hanging out tomorrow night?

  12. Jordan, Yeah, the poem is a ‘had-to-be-there’ poem. So, I took y’all there. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Tomorrow night after choir practice with the praise team maybe. I’ll call you.

  13. How do you do that? You have an amazing gift – I tried poetry for a time, in college – you have to be gifted to make it work like that. I praise God for His gifting you.

  14. Michelle, In my case, He has given me something. I have never “studied” poetry or taken any courses in poetry. I’ve read a little poetry but only just a little.

    I did not (and for the most part still do not) see what I write as terribly complex or deep or difficult. It took me 2 years to share my first poem with anyone, including my immediate family… out of fear of ridicule or criticism. I thought my poems were simple and just part of my e-journal. After sharing one and witnessing people’s reaction I realized I had not been listening to the Spirit.

    So, yes praise Him. He is the real poet.

  15. Very moving…

    There are several parts that I love — the 3rd and fourth lines in every stanza, especially the ones toward the end.

  16. Thanks Brainteaser.

  17. […] my dad, shared Grandpa’s poems with me after I wrote I was Lookin’ for My Father for him on Father’s Day 2005. Until that time, Dad was unaware of my poetry. And I was […]

  18. […] there was the time I wrote a poem for him for Father’s Day in 2005. As he silently read, what is probably his first home-made […]

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