When I was five
My father was the greatest,
He was my Hero
Better than the best.
 
My best friend was he
When I was ten,
Someone to love and trust
And have lots of fun.
 
The kite that wouldn't fly
The boat that refused to sail,
Every test my Hero passed
Not once did he fail.
 
Of love and togetherness
We shared many a moment,
His future he neglected
But never even once my present.
 
He regarded quality time
His most precious gift,
Even if it meant
Giving his career a bit of short shrift.
 
When I was twenty
He suddenly became a stranger,
I was Mister Know-All
And the cool lonely Ranger.
 
I thought he was a failure
Who had achieved nothing in life
Neither wealth, nor status nor position
He was merely a father to his son and a husband to his wife.
 
When he should have been climbing the ladder
He wasted his time on the family,
Instead of being busy in meetings
He was tending my hurting knee.
 
One day my friend saw my album
Of the time when I was nearly ten,
In it were all the memories
The love, the joy, the fun.
 
As he scanned the snaps
His face grew long and sad,
"I wish we could trade places
And I could have such a loving Dad."
 
"I have everything," my friend said,
"That money and status can buy
Yet in my album
There is no photo of Dad and I."
 
"While I was growing up
My Dad too was busy growing,
And in my stock of photos
There is not a single one worth showing."
 
"You have so many memories to treasure
While I have none,
Though I may have a swanky car and a big house
I have lost a childhood of love and fun."
 
As my friend left
I had tears in my eyes,
How selfish and mean I had been
He made me realise.
I went to my father
A tired and crumpled man
I told him, "I am sorry,
But I love you more than anyone can."
 
As he took me in his arms
And both of us began to cry,
He was once again my Hero
And I only five.


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