Your handsome face stares
out from a weathered picture frame
into my life, the life you created.

More than creation, you lifted me into
a world of puppy dogs’ tails, fish
at the end of a pole, and sharpshooters.

Your aim was straight and exact, calculated
so you hit the mark in your patient way, forever
waiting for the rest of us to follow.

You remain my tower of strength, a stable rock
upon which I can depend, the blessing
in an otherwise churning river of disappointment.

I imagine you perched on a stool in my kitchen, sipping
a cup of instant coffee, no cream,
listening to me talk about dreams and lovers.

I picture your advice to me this day, when
fathers everywhere are exalted just for being, for
their love, kindness and understanding.

To feel the comfort of your hug right now, Daddy,
just one more time, would revive my faith in men
and erase the pain for yet another day.

–Victoria Emmons, Copyright 2015


On the senior pages in my high school yearbook, the quote they chose to put under my picture is: “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with a fly swatter.” It was advice that my mother had always given us and I found that she was right. When kindness is shown, even to those who may not readily seem to deserve it, the reward is always with the giver. So I tried to be nice to everyone and I guess people noticed.

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Fathers share a special place in our hearts. They are our biggest cheerleaders, our toughest critics and our shoulder to cry on when something goes wrong.

They teach us how to drive stick shift, how to pass Algebra and how to change a seed into a blooming flower. They are our heroes. They fight for us. They fight for our country. They take us to swim practice and ballet class. They juggle work, family and making ends meet. They read us a story at bedtime and drop us off at school in the morning. They even let us drive the car sometimes with our friends.

They cry at our weddings. They teach our children about the joys of fishing and life. They become wonderful grandfathers. We remember them forever, even long after they are gone. Their warm hugs remain in our memories and their spirit remains in our hearts, as does their love.

So today, I salute all the fathers who have made their kids better and made the world a better place, too. Thank you, dads.