Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Father's Day


Father’s Day

We’ve had some bleak times
money related, depression prompted
just overwhelmed by the daily grind I suppose
times like most of us know.

Children still at home
I used to find little yellow sticky notes
when I opened my wallet
or under the lid of the tin
when I put tea leaves in the pot
or on my pillow
when I pulled back the spread.

I love you dad they said.

Be encouraged dad.

We’ll make it dad.

Remembering those little notes
will turn any day
into father’s day for me.
Little notes transformed by a child’s love
an alchemy that turns yellow paper into gold leaf.


Abba is Hebrew for daddy.
A few years ago I heard a small Israeli boy
on the street call out to his daddy abba abba
like, right out of the Bible.
Abba forgive them for they know
not what they do, said the God/man
Jesus as he hung bleeding
from his hands and his feet
so that us forgiven fathers can say abba too.
Post-it note to Abba:
Thank you dear God.

Abba, abba, daddy, daddy.

I, the image bearer, sharer
Father-in-heaven pointer
with forefinger wavering
extended toward heaven
but badly smeared with the gunk of my ego
my self preoccupation.
Post-it note to Abba:
Father forgive me.

Father, me, toggled by grace
called to be a God parable
for the little boy
and girl who hear my
careless words
and see my selfish acts
and somehow love me still
and God knows how
see some dim echo of the father of us all
and come to love him too.
Post-it note to Abba:
Thanks for the miracle.

And as time creeps across the calendar
years, and days I’ve squandered
spendthrift preoccupied spending
less with the little ones
than I presumed to imagine
but they with sincerity thank me
for all the times they had with dad
the walks and the reading aloud on the couch
and afternoons at the beach
and I post my note to Abba thankful
for returning the days
that the locusts had eaten.

So now the little running feet are my children’s
children and I see with joy their fathers’ attentive love
as they, I recognise with moistened eyes
rise to a father's high calling
with generosity and joy
and I pray that they
and fathers everywhere
will be warriors, valiant for truth
wise men with worthy words
respecters of women
courageous men with strength to fight
a tidal wave of evil cresting as popular good
attentive men who listen
to the intent of each small voice and hold it
in the hands of their heart like leaves of gold.

Sticky note to Abba:
Thanks for letting me be a dad.