Tuesday, November 15, 2022

My dad was right about silver platters

November Poem Day #15:

My dad was right about silver platters

Growing up is a challenging time.
For some of us, we thought
we knew everything
and expected people
to cater to us.

My dad set me straight.
His dad died when he was 11.
He emerged as a tough guy,
a high school dropout,
tattoos in the army.

He told me in colorful language
that life was not served
on a silver platter.
He created opportunities
for us to learn to work
and serve others.

Moanings and groanings erupted
during chores and such
but not when he was around.
We knew the consequences….

I milked cows, fed the horses,
dug postholes, worked in the garden,
bucked hay, pulled weeds,
mowed and trimmed the lawn,
shoveled snow in our yard
and our neighbors’ yards—
no allowance, just a bed,
a shared room with two brothers,
numerous delicious meals,
and all the snacks we could eat
with some clothes
and fishing trips thrown in.

When I had a real job,
I bought my own clothes,
a motorcycle, a Hodaka 100,
and then a used car,
a 1970 Chevy Impala for $600.

I sacrificed, saved money,
went to college on my own dime,
worked so we could pay
the rent, tuition, and books.
Hard work paid off.
We left college with no debt!  

Now, I sing praises to my dad,
his hard, yet wise counsel,
his relentless working us,
his attitude toward service.

I confess we do have just one
silver platter in our house.
It stays hidden in the cupboard,
biding its time for special occasions
where it, too, must work,
carry heavy things, and serve others.

November 15, 2022  

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