See Luminosity

A Birthday Poem For My Dad

A Birthday Poem For My Dad

It’s that time again, celebration time here

That day that comes but only one time a year


So many years, now, I start to lose count –

Sixty-five? Sixty-seven? Who cares, he’s got clout.


Pastor, advisor, counselor, Dad

Wise now, and weathered, but his health isn’t bad


Yes, the paunch has grown larger and he walks with a stoop

But luckily the chickens haven’t all flown the coop


His mind still is sharp, his humor still witty

Even if the ol’ body just ain’t quite as pretty.


He teaches and preaches and writes pageant scripts

He counsels, advises, writes, and gives tips


Creative and musical, strong like a rock,

Relied on by many to shepherd the flock


But birthdays don’t lie, and the truth is, you see,

That he’s just not as spry as he used to be


So what to give Dad on his birthday, I wonder?

What way to say “Yay!” before he goes under?


A book? Been there, done that, expected and dull

Some highfalutin’ coffee that smells wonderful?


No, that’s a staple, and not anything new

A woodworking tool, perhaps? Maybe two?


Nope, that won’t do, either, his standards are high

A bit above the resources with which we can buy


A card always works, but I do that each time

No, it has to be fulfilling, something uniquely mine…


Ah, yes. I know! A true, perfect win!

Even if it sort of constitutes sin…


I can never go wrong with a scrumptious dessert

Something delish with which his belly can flirt


It might not meet his diet, but when you’re his age,

Girth getting larger doesn’t exactly induce rage


Besides, he’s been known to throw caution to the wind

The rules of Atkins quite often to bend


So…a cake! That’s it! A special delight!

Something decadent and chocolate that will keep him up at night.


But the ideas I had just didn’t seem to fly –

No Andes mint chocolate, no peanut butter for this guy.


A lot of requirements for this cake, that’s for sure.

My gift plan morphing into a trial to endure.


No dryness, not too sweet, and it has to have cream…

I started to feel like I was in a bad dream.


But persevere I would, it’s my Dad after all,

His day, and his cake – I guess he makes the call.


So back to the drawing board, since he’s not a huge fan

There has to be a cake that will just thrill this man.


I searched and I hunted, Google and me

Until – there it was! – The one it would be!


It was perfect, it met the criteria well

Moist, lots of cream, yes, this one I could sell!


Boston Crème Pie, although it’s a cake

I knew he’d agree that it’s this I should make.


I called, he said yes, and the planning began

This birthday cake gift going according to plan


Homemade pastry cream, whipped up just like magic

Cake layers complete, but then, something tragic…


A moment that threatened to ruin it all –

Layer transfer to cake plate…and -GASP!- a huge fall!


That’s right, perfect cake round, in crumbles, you see.

My brilliant birthday plan – just not to be.


I stared at the mess, wanting to cry

Or scream, maybe, curse? Why, oh, oh, why?


But then I remembered a lesson of his

Something Dad taught when I had to be a whiz


Perfection isn’t what we have to achieve –

It’s the intention behind it and what we believe


So armed with that message, I determined right there

Not to let this make me pull out my hair.


I patched all the pieces together like a puzzle

My dark thoughts and words, struggling to muzzle


Using the cream to connect them like glue

Praying lots of extra chocolate on top would just do.


The end result certainly less than I’d hoped,

Its appearance definitely not leaving me stoked.


Looking more like volcanic disaster than cake,

Its final outcome even chocolate couldn’t fake.


I then stuck on the cover and over it I stood,

Saying, “Well…at least it’ll taste good.”


There’s a moral to this story, something I hope to convey

To my wonderful, sweet Dad on his birthday.


This cake that I made, a little like my life

Isn’t pretty, it’s messy, having endured strife


But the outside doesn’t matter, it’s the inside that counts

And the feelings behind it – love, in lots of amounts


In some ways the cake now fits so much better

And it gave me the reason to write you this letter


An imperfect appearance, just how we all are.

From years, scars, and battles, from coming so far.


But just like you’ve lived out, it’s what’s under the shell

that truly determines whether or not we are well.


A heart full of goodness, intentions sweet and pure

Are what, long after a birthday is gone, will endure.

2 Responses to “A Birthday Poem For My Dad”

  1. Beth Hoover says:

    You never cease to amaze me, girl!

  2. Judy says:


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