Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Father's Day Poem for My Sons

Your Dad
-for Chris and Tim

My greatest joy has been
watching the two of you grow
from little boys to men
I admire and respect.

I’d like to take credit
for the men you've become,
but there's someone who
deserves it more.

Your dad—
worked twelve-hour days
six days a week
at a job he didn’t love,
but it paid the bills.

Every night he'd come home tired and dirty,
ask us about our day,
then take a quick shower
while I started dinner.

Within minutes
I'd see him playing
with his two small sons
racing Match-box cars
across the living room floor.

Dinner was always laced with laughter.
Your dad would get it going
telling some funny story about work or
poking gentle fun at one of us.
We laughed more than we chewed.

Sundays, he was behind the wheel
taking us on long drives--
back country roads to get homemade ice cream,
through the mountains to see autumn trees, or just
cruising through neighborhoods to see Christmas lights.

Your dad--
coached your Little League games,
helped with scout meetings,
and cheered you on
at karate competitions.

When you graduated from high school
college, grad school—
He was there.
He may not have said it, but
he was so proud of you.

Your dad--
taught you to drive,
helped you get your first car,
made your friends feel welcome,
and danced at your wedding.

He couldn’t buy you
everything he wanted to. 
So he gave you
everything he had.

It's no wonder
you turned out so well, and
I should have told you long ago
how thankful I am
he's your dad.

“You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes.” ― Walter M. Schirra, Sr.


  1. Visitng from Teacherswrite! I have four kids under 12 and enjoyed the reminder of how great thier dad is. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Linda, your poem made me cry. What a beautiful tribute to a man who sounds like a great dad!

    1. Thank you, Carol. He really is a great dad and a great person. We've been divorced for many years, yet he still invites me to his annual cook-out so the boys can have spend time with both of their parents. I really appreciate that.

  3. I just loved the last part:
    "He couldn’t buy you
    everything he wanted to.
    So he gave you
    everything he had."
    If only kids knew...

    1. Hi Donna-
      He really did give everything he had to his family, and never complained about it. I think now that my sons are grown they realize how hard their dad worked. There is so much of their dad in them.

  4. What a great father! I love the stanza Donna quoted, too. It says so much. And the quote you paired with your poem is just perfect -- icing on the cake!

    1. Thanks, Mary Lee. I love that quote because my sons truly are my heroes in so many ways.

  5. This is beautiful. Made me cry, too. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Like Donna, I finally found you too, Linda. This is so beautiful, a tribute to your husband for the important things in life more than anything. Like my poem, those things mean so much to me in life. Your line "We laughed more than we chewed." says much to me. Great memories sit in those six words. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Really lovely, Linda. In a funny way, it's even more lovely because you are divorced. Even though you are not together, you still prize what he has given your sons.