Dad, over time, inspires a rhyme

by | Jun 18, 2017 | Detroit Free Press, Comment | 1 comment

Your father is old now,
He’ll tell you himself,
“Getting up there,” he’ll tease,
As he grins like an elf.
You notice the lines
That now crease his face,
And a new sagging neck

In the old neck’s place.
His shoulders, once broad
Have thinned now and drooped
His belly has widened
His posture has stooped.

And perhaps as you stare
At his hair, thinned and gray
You can’t help but think
Of an earlier day
When he hovered much larger,
The World’s Strongest Man
And hoisted you skyward
As Superman can.
Of all the kid’s fathers
He stood the most high
Your father is old now
But he’s still that same guy.

Remember the time
When he took you to swim?
And when you got scared you
Swam right back to him?
Or when the sky shook
With lightning and thunder
You ran to his bed,
Pulled the covers, dove under?
Your mom took you shopping
For clothes, shoes and hats
But dad made the trip for the
Glove, balls and bats.

The first bike you rode
He bought long ago
You can still hear him yelling,
“Attaboy! There you go!”
And later, in high school,
Your driver’s ed class
Was mainly dad saying,
“Stop! … Not so fast! …”
He paid all the bills,
He held mom’s umbrella
Your father is old now,
But still the same fella.

For years you admired his
Ethic at work
No task was beneath him
No role did he shirk,
But he wanted for you
Something more, something higher
He made you dream big
He made you aspire
And when the day came that
You earned more than he did
It made you feel strange, but he said
“You succeeded.”

And soon, it was true
The mantle was yours
You did the kid raising
You put down the floors
You handled the bills
You purchased the bike
And one day you noticed
You and he were alike
You heard his words sometimes
In words that you said
“Be a good man,” would echo
Inside of your head.

Your father is old now,
His hearing grows dim
And two sudden strokes
Took so much out of him
His walking is feeble
On help he depends
And these days he visits
More doctors than friends
This is my father
But maybe yours, too
Who weathered the blows
And inspired you.

And so as we mark
A Father’s Day passed
And wonder if this one
Might be the last
And realize Superman
Could one day perish
Each “I love you, Pop”
Becomes something we cherish
Your father is old now,
But this remains true:
No matter the years,
He’s still “Dad” to you.

Contact Mitch Albom: Check out the latest updates with his charities, books and events at Catch “The Mitch Albom Show” 5-7 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760). Follow him on Twitter @mitchalbom. To read his recent columns, go to

1 Comment

  1. Theresa Ramus

    All of your Father’s Day articles that you have put up are good. You are lucky that you have had your parents for awhile. Your ma is gone but you still have a Father. I haven’t had parents for years and when they were still living I took care of them from a young age. My Dad has been gone for almost 40 years and my ma about 21 years. I was able to see the best of both even though they had an awful divorce and put me in the middle. Sad when I think of families today and not seeing that marriage and kids are important in the traditional way that things should be. Too many step parents.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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