The Gift… Of Fatherhood

As Father’s Day approaches, thoughts of my Father fill my mind more and more. I am a lucky girl, from my earthly Father, to my heavenly Father to the way my husband so beautifully “fathers” our child… I see so strongly the strength of the Man in shaping creation! The love that is firm and tough, yet also gentle and tender. The love that can look rough; you should see the wrestling matches that go on in my house and how my Dad made me do “Man-O-War”,  but which is totally reassuring, without which you would be afraid… feel vulnerable and exposed. As Father’s Day approaches, my heart fills up with love for the Father’s who stay, the ones who shape us and teach the next generation how to be men… and strong women too… The ones who are husband, brother, friend, because someone taught them well!  Happy Father’s Day in advance… our world is better, because you are here! Enjoy the poem, “The Gift” by Li-Young Lee, he wrote it in 1957, but he wrote it about YOU!


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The Gift

a Poem by Li-Young Lee 1957

To pull the metal splinter from my palm my father recited a story in a low voice. 

I watched his lovely face and not the blade. 

Before the story ended, he’d removed the iron sliver I thought I’d die from.

I can’t remember the tale, but hear his voice still, a well of dark water, a prayer. 

And I recall his hands, two measures of tenderness he laid against my face, the flames of discipline he raised above my head. 

 Had you entered that afternoon you would have thought you saw a man planting something in a boy’s palm, a silver tear, a tiny flame. 

Had you followed that boy you would have arrived here, where I bend over my wife’s right hand. 

 Look how I shave her thumbnail down so carefully she feels no pain. 

Watch as I lift the splinter out. 

I was seven when my father took my hand like this, and I did not hold that shard between my fingers and think, Metal that will bury me, christen it Little Assassin, Ore Going Deep for My Heart. 

And I did not lift up my wound and cry, Death visited here!

I did what a child does when he’s given something to keep. 

I kissed my father! 

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