Many of you know that my dad drove trucks for many years, nearly 40. But what you may not know is that lately his health has become a serious problem. Dad was admitted into the hospital nearly a month ago and they performed an operation on him that required them to shave the beard we have seen on him our entire lives. Throughout our childhood, my five siblings and I have rarely ever seen my dad clean-shaven, so to see him in the hospital like that was surreal. While visiting my dad, my sister Heather and I were talking about his beard, or the lack there of, and it reminded her of a poem she had written. She wrote this poem months prior to him going into the hospital, but I asked her if I could include it in this month’s issue. I thought it may be fitting since this is the month we celebrate Father’s Day. While my dad still has a long recovery ahead, we are hopeful of a full restoration of his health (and his beard). This poem, Dad’s Whiskers, summarizes what something as simple as a beard on a dad can mean to a child.
His “Santa” whiskers say,
“I see you when you sleep.
I know if you’ve been bad or good,
And I hear you when you weep.”
A familiar face to strangers,
“Come talk with me, you’ll see.
I’m striking but I’m gentle,
You’ll have a friend in me.”
When he shaves all “foo-man-choo,”
It says, “Hey, I’m looking swank!
Give me a top hat, and a Harley,
And some gas to fill the tank.”
His whiskers smelled like whiskey,
And diesel fumes and such.
I know it might sound silly,
But I miss that smell so much.
All groomed, his whiskers say,
“I’m feeling good, and you will too.
I’ll make you feel invincible,
Because there’s nothing I can’t do.”
Dad’s whiskers give scratchy kisses,
That tickle grandkids ‘til they smile.
They hide secrets, as well as wishes,
And great stories, if you’ve got awhile.
Daddy’s whiskers kissed me “Welcome,”
With my first breath of life.
His whiskers kissed, “You’ll be okay,”
As he gave me away to be a wife.
My dad’s whiskers kissed me “Sorry,”
When my heart could no longer bear.
And now, I don’t know what I’ll do,
When those whiskers are not there.