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Father

From the Omaha Daily Bee, December 3, 1913. By Edmund Vance Cooke.

He was not the kind of a father that you read about in books,
He wasn’t long on language and he wasn’t strong on looks.
He was not the sort of father that you hear about in plays.
He was just a human father with a human father’s ways.

No, he never balked at working, but when he was through it once,
Right down to the grass was father, with the children doing stunts.
All of us would pile up on him and he’d welcome all the pack,
But I’m wondering after play time, did we stay there—on his back?

Wasn’t strong on dissipation, said his “gambol on the green”
Was to fill the platter faster than the kids could lick it clean.
And the next best game he knew of was an equal one to beat;
It was keeping leather covers up to the supply of feet.

Always on the job was father, plugging steady like and strong,
Never making any noise, but helping all his little world along.
And to think! Lord! ain’t it funny you can see things years and years
And yet never know you’ve seen them, till your eyes are blind with tears.

Quit his job one day and left us, smiling as he went away;
Eulogy seems all so foolish. What can anybody say?
Seemed like even in his leaving he was saving someone bother,
For the one word on the granite which lies over him is “Father.”