When the time came to write something down about Dad,
I sat down on a paint tin in the garage, where I could feel him close,
Amid the nail boxes full of odds and ends,
With the door open to the barbecue area where Dad had ruined many a perfectly good sausage.
He liked them well done.
He liked everything done well;
Measured, mulled over,
There was always time to do it well.
Although I was a bit of a puzzle to him,
He never gave up on finding a way to connect.
Just this year, when he helped me work on my house,
We were able to relax together, and enjoy a job well done.
And watching him hold my daughter, who looks so much like me as a baby,
I think I understood some of the pride
And pure happiness he must have felt for us.
Some of my favourite memories of Dad are the first years,
And they’re mostly tactile.
We rode on his shoulders,
Picked the dried glue off his hands,
Dressed up in overalls like his.
Dad was warm and solid
Like a river stone, baked in the sun on the Waimea plains.
Like the land, he didn’t need to act;
He simply was.
That solidity was his being.
He didn’t need to tell me how to work,
How to give,
How to be a father;
He was the work.
He was kindness.
He was our home.