It’s my Dad’s birthday today, the first since he passed away. We had a big birthday party for him in 2006, my sister S made t-shirts for it that we all wore. We planned the party after we first discovered that our Dad’s cancer was advanced and incurable. He survived for three more years.
I was trying to think of something to do to honor this day. My sister T suggested that I write our Dad a poem, the way he did for me on some of my birthdays.
I haven’t written a poem for 25 years and never have I written the kind of poems my Dad wrote. But here’s my attempt at a cowgirl poem.
Birthday Poem for My Dad
Start with a shedder, long strokes of the hand.
Hair flying everywhere, covering the sand.
Move into a rhythm, several strokes then a flick.
I got lost in my task, it gives me a kick.
After a shedder, a large brush, and one that’s fine,
I say, “Good enough!” I’ve spent enough time.
On goes a pad and then a saddle.
Luke blows up like a wood tick. I’d like to give him a paddle.
Now comes the bridle, Luke lowers his head.
It goes on easily. “Thank you.” I said.
I have a great ride, as I think of my Dad.
I wish he were here. That he’s not, makes me sad.
He never did see me ride my Murphy or Luke.
Didn’t think much of gaited, would have found Murphy a kook.
I think if he’d seen me ride them, he’d have been proud.
I hope a good rider in his eyes I would have been found.
So Happy Birthday Dad! This is my first cowgirl poem.
I hope that in heaven, you’ve found a good home.