Pat’s Chat (June 10)

Father’s Day is two weeks from today (June 6). I saw in a recent paper that Father’s Day also began in West Virginia, as did Mother’s Day. Although I am a week early, I hope you will enjoy my poem from long ago. If you remember my dad, I hope you will think of him when Father’s Day comes around. Many people who grew up in Burnsville, West Virginia remember my dad, Harry Wiant, Sr. Many have told me he was their favorite teacher. He was my teacher in 8th grade for some classes. I liked him, too.

When I was younger, I wrote a poem called “My Laughing Dad.”  

My Laughing Dad

My memory of daddy as I was but a tot is mostly of his joking and how he laughed a lot.

He kept us all in stitches, he’d laugh and giggle so when he told an oft-repeated joke that we’d already know.

His laughter was contagious as measles in the spring. How often we were laughing in my “remembering.”

I remember how when he would leave to teach school every day, he’d kiss our heads so he would miss the oatmeal gone astray.

I also see his jaunty stride as homeward bound he came, whistling a merry tune that called us from our game.

We’d race to meet him and we’d vie to carry home the mail, and search the lunch remains for bites, and fight to hold the pail.

I always thought my dad could do just almost anything, like paint a house or fix the roof or mend a broken spring.

I well remember why he said he bought a davenport was so he’d get us married off when boys would come around to court.

If broken springs were gouging through there’d be no place to sit! Daddy kept our childhood bright with all his crazy wit.

He built a bathroom long ago to save us from the path, but sometimes still a trail he’d make when we were in the bath.  

My momma said it’d take five more to satisfy our “herd.” And only once do I recall him say a naughty word!

That was when he’s making a closet into a doorway. The hammer slipped and cut his eye and, oh! to my dismay  

He cried in pain, a word that gave his little girl a shock, and later he said it was not a word that I should mock.

Another incident I recall so vividly once more is when I saw that great big boulder rolling toward our door.

My Dad was at our garden pump and saw that rock descending. It bounced first this way, then back and forth, eyes following its wending.

It finally stopped on a flat ledge, causing us no harm. I was scared and so was Dad, but relief replaced alarm.

I remember also plain as day the time the bees were mad and started buzzing all around and one took after dad!  

I saw him pass the window, feet ‘way in front of head, but by his yelp I knew he was no longer one who led.  

My laughing Dad made life at home a happy place to grow. How much I loved and honor him, I wanted him to know.

I hope for my own children the happiness I had in growing up with my dear Mom and my sweet laughing Dad.



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