Dear father, thank you.
Thank you for always being there for me.
Thank you for being the best father that you could ever be.
Thank you for playing, praying and staying with me.
Thank you for protecting me and providing for me in every way.
Thank you for the love in everything that you say.
Dear father, I love you.
I love you despite all your flaws
And your strict parent, child, family laws.
I love you for all the sacrifices that you have made.
And I am not just talking about all the bills that you have paid.
I love you for all that you do.
And I am confident that you love me too.
God took the strength of a lion,
The warmth of a sunny day,
The calmness of a still river,
The beauty of a garden,
The wisdom of Solomon,
The patience of Job,
The power of vision,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The humility of a sheep,
The joy of a happy child,
The agility of a monkey,
And the love of family and mixed them all together.
Finally, when there was nothing else to add God said that his masterpiece was complete,
And so he called you father.
Dear father, thank you.
Erika Heslop Martin
# # #
Your name means so much to me;
It evokes strength, warmth, security;
The rational, whimsical, humorous one,
Who works hard and provides for everyone!
Your character gives me faith,
That I will someday find a mate;
An honest, kind, respectful man,
Beside whom I will proudly stand!
Your concern, when I am sad,
Has turned the tide and made me glad;
You comprehend unspoken words,
How oft my thoughts you have discerned!
You made home a place of joy,
You gave us more than gifts and toys;
You reared us like true Bourgeoisie,
In name and nature, that we'd be!
We're grateful for your love,
Your care, your exemplary standards;
We're delighted that you have seen,
How effective your love and care have been!
We'll continue to live our lives
With vision and courage undisguised;
Remembering all you sacrificed,
For us to be ethical, and upright, and wise!
# # #
You’ve never been afraid
to change diaper
put him in a basin and soap him clean
hold your daughter close to your chest
pat her back until she burped
sit in the rocking chair and watch day
fold into night as you hum her to sleep
or get up in the middle of the night
after he cried and your wife nursed him
you paced the floor rubbing ice on his
teething gum repeating hush-hush
until he fell asleep snuggled in the fold
of your arms that have gone numb
You know how to brush her hair
tie in ribbons or decorate with barrettes
make porridge and coax her to eat
and not get upset when food spill on your
starched work shirt you quickly have to change
before taking them to school
you run around with them in the yard
make the hose a spray
teach them how to climb trees
pick a ripe mango
take them with you to the market
telling then the names of things
yam, pumpkin, chocho, dasheen
scallion, thyme, jackfruit, guinep
Sundays you take them to the beach
teach them to float and swim
kneel in the sand with them and
build sand-castle let them bury
you in the sand
you’re not afraid to laugh or play
peek-a-boo or say
daddy don’t know when they
ask where the sun goes when it sets
when he falls off his bicycle and bruises
his knee you lift him up and apply detol
you don’t admonish him and tell him
boys don’t cry tough it up
you know that being a man is
not just one thing
being a man is loving yourself
your wife and children
and not being afraid of being vulnerable
being a man is being there for your children
teaching them by example
how to love and care for one another
how to be soft and when to be hard
being a man is taking responsibility
for your children and providing
for them financially and emotionally
being a father is celebrating
love for yourself and your community
being a father is honour and dedication
and you wear fatherhood with pride and
a life-time commitment
Opal Palmer Adisa