The simple thing for me to do would be for me to just have the poem without any explanation. However, to avoid confusion, I am a daddy's girl. Do not ever doubt that. To the point that I really don't ever have to tell my dad anything, because he already knows. But for everyone else's benefit, know that when I think of the word father, I know I have the best representation of that concept. Thanks dad, and here's a poem for you.

Flying With Dragons

Wanting my ears long,
like his, he'd pull on them
after tucking me in;
after carrying me down
the hall, him humming
a Hank Williams' song.

We were always the quiet ones.
No conversation needed.
It's like that when like meets like.

Early to rise, early to work
life could have been simple.
But he loves a challenge —
a mountain woman,
a rundown house or two,
an old hotel, and a head-strong family.

Sometimes it must feel like
flying with dragons.
A colorful blur of chaos,
and the beating heat of dreams.
Maybe he comforts in the knowledge
there is always work to be done.

And there was — is —
always work,
and sawdust, sheet rock,
fertilizer, burning noon.
There is always something needing fixing.
A leaky roof, a patch of land,
the government,
an isolated daughter,
a gypsy son,
an orphaned wife.

And so he listens,
it's what he does best.

And he tells us:

Leave what you have
better than you found it.


Happiness is the goal.

5 responses to “Papasahn

  1. To comment or not – that was the question. First, THANKS! You told me recently that sometimes other people don’t “just understand” and that I should speak up more often and tell folks how I feel. Maybe you have finally pulled me out for a one time comment on your very public blog. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, thanks for understanding and thanks for the love. The pleasure was all mine.
    Your Father

    PS, it’s not nice to make an old man cry!

  2. Ha! I knew I could force a comment out of you.

  3. What a great poem for a truely great man. Julia, you made me cry too. Love you Ray, Happy Father’s Day.

  4. Ditto!!! (sniff) Jules that was beautiful! And Thank You Mr. Ray for treating me like family! I miss your singing, storytelling, and jokes…you always could make me giggle! 🙂 Hope you had a great Father’s Day!

  5. the whole time I was reading the poem, I was wondering if Mr Ray was going to comment, and there he was, the first comment! Julia has often compared me to Mr. Ray, and I am honored by that. Happy Father’s Day! You’re a good man!

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