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Readings: “My Father's Things

My dad died 28 years ago.
I still have some of his things:

A red plaid Pendleton bath robe.
(I look like Dad in that thing now.)

An old Sears table saw bought used in 1950.
I still use it, (but for rough cuts only).

An old grinding wheel, noisy as sin,
but sharpens mower blades in no time.

Trays and trays of screws and nuts,
sorted in biscuit pans by size.
(Just stir and search.)

His gold watch given to him in '57.
It hasn't worked for years.
It's going to cost too much to fix it,
so I keep it in my drawer.

I had his pocket knife but lost it.
(I always lose my pocket knife.)

There are other things of his I have as well:

I have his feet. I swear, my feet look just like his.

I have his eyes. (They're big and brown.)

I have his gait (knees kicking out like bow-legged cowboys).
When I walk in front of storefront windows, it's my dad.

I have some other things of his too:

A love of animals,
especially dogs,
one of God's greatest inventions.

His value system and code of conduct,
the do's and don'ts of being a man.

Some might say, "Bathrobes and saws and codes of conduct
are not exactly jewels to take to the bank."

I answer, "Jewels don't shine as brightly as my father's things."


Searching for the Spring: Poetic Reflections of Maine (c) 2005 by Ken Nye, published by TJMF Publishing.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

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