Hearing the first lusty cry of your babe,
Sharing in caring for the life that you made,
Tending to kissing the bruises and aches --
Some of what being a father takes.

Working each day to provide for your own,
Zooing when you'd really rather be home,
Helping each child face the world of today,
Showing the wisdom of going God's way --

Standing and loving when they've broken rules,
Lifting when they've learned from life's hardest school,
Saying, "Goodbye," when they've got to go,
Feeling your heart break, but knowing it's so --

Talking long distance when you'd rather be
Fishing with them, again -- (even at three),
Watching them stand alone -- so straight and true,
Seeing that now they have no need of you --

Stepping aside, making room for one more
(As they bring home the mates they adore),
Joy and then sorrow, the pain and the aches --
Some of what being a father takes.

copyright by Joan Clifton Costner
used with permission

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Photo used to make the set Joan Clifton Costner
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