He had a booming laugh,
He was a very handsome man and he knew it.
He knew how to read the minds of a toddler and the kinds of play that they loved,
And he would join in with them and go on forever.
Such was my father’s love.
Symbiotic in your preschool years but freeing after your first day of school.
He loved to hold court, surrounded by his children while the gifted one of us told of folklore.
He did love his beer, as he sat bare-chested in the evening cooling air, but I hated to rub his back.
I didn’t understand him, I was a child and he towered and as such scared me.
He loved his dog Tiger to distraction, but Tiger had love for him and only him.
I hated that he made me give to Tiger, the bone from my drumstick that I was still working on,
And in his absence, when I called to Tiger to come with me on a walk, it would give me an arrogant baleful look and return to lazying in the sun, stupid dog!!
The background noise of my childhood: my father insisting “let the boy do what he wants to do.”
The other was not happy, "make him do what I want,”
“It’s his life, let the boy do what he would do,” my father pronounced and returned to his newspaper and Tiger, watching the scene, would cozy up to his legs.
Such was my father’s love. It didn’t take the stance of conquering the world and laying it at my feet. He left the conquering of the world to me and my soul’s dictates.