Me and my dad never had that close father and son relationship and I guess I grew up with some resentment; I was in my mid forties and he was in his late eighties when we made peace with
each other, but that close relationship still wasn’t
But as I sit listening to the other authors I recalled a moment when I was sixteen that made me feel that maybe my dad had a bit of love or pride for me. I had written a poem titled ‘The Man Who Would Not Fall’ - One verse read;
“His heels were close together,
his hands were at his side;
His hardened face stared straight ahead
with cold and prideful eyes.”
I had left my note book laying on the coffee table that night when I went to bed; the next morning when I was getting ready for school I found that my dad had made a note on my poem. On the
last line he had circled the word ‘cold’ and wrote the word ‘fixed’ with a question mark beside it; at the bottom of the page he wrote ‘very good,’ and
that’s about as close to any encouragement I ever got from him till many years later.
After a stint in the army, a failed marriage and several years alone I got this deep taunting feeling that I needed to bridge the gap between me and my dad. So I wrote him a letter, and started making weekend trips to visit him. A few years
later I moved back to my home town, my birthplace in Somerset, Ky., and stayed with my dad for a couple years. By this time I had two large binders of poems I had written over the years.
I come in from work one even and found dad had the binders on the kitchen table and was reading my poems; before I could I say anything he looked at me and said, “With all this talent why in the hell don’t you do something with it? Get it published son.”
Poetry is my passion, and I dreamed of being a published author; I’ve had friends and family tell me to get my works published, but I think hearing it from my dad was what made me buckled down and go after my dream. It took a few more years of
knocking on doors to make that dream a reality, but I done it. My dad passed away nine years ago, last year I had three books published . . . I think in his own hard way my dad would be proud.