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by Barbara Robinson
copyright 02-04-2002

Age Rating: 10 +

Note: This poem goes with novel Magnolia: A Wilting Flower A Story Poem, Narrative, Autobiographical Poetry


By Barbara Jane Russell Robinson

Daddy was so big, tall, and strong.
He stood six foot-two, with eyes of blue.
Wavy, dark hair suited him well.
I was always proud of him.
Anyone could tell.

I was four years old and the apple of his eye,
when he left without saying goodbye.
He sung to me and rocked me to sleep,
songs he made up, only for me.
He built me a swing,
neath the old-pecan tree.
It's branches were the roof of many a playhouse for me.

He walked me to the store,
holding my hand,
towering above me, as though he owned the land,
as I nearly had to run, to keep up with his gigantic steps.
But he was my daddy, and he sung to me.
He'd get me a watermealon at 12:00 at night.
If I wanted it, I got it.
He spoiled me with delight.

But then one day, he went away,
leaving me all alone.
I was four years old and suddenly there were no more songs.
It was Christmas Day, and my daddy was gone.
He couldn't help it.
He had ulcers, and he had to go home.

He knew before he went, that he'd be going soon.
He bought me a little, red-plaid booksack to start me off to school.
For Christmas that year, I got the little, pink-washing machine
I had shown him in the local hardware store,
with a little-rubber ball and a little-kitchen sink;
then there was no more.

The little, red-plaid booksack got me started off to school, Daddy.
But I wish you could've been here to see me go.
You always told Momma you'd never live to see the day, and
you were right, because God took you away.
Oh, but Daddy, I've come such a long way.
I wish you'd been here to see me on graduation day.
The little, red-plaid booksack made me stay.

I knew you'd want me to finish school.
It's the only thing that was left, that for you, I could still do.
Daddy, I made it! I graduated today!
You'd be proud of me, if you could only see.

I know you'd been proud of me,
if only you could've seen,
your little girl become a teacher in that auditorium full of people.
Your little girl is a teacher now,
in our hometown,
because that little, red-plaid booksack took me college bound.

You see, Daddy, that little, red-plaid booksack was the
message you left for me.
For, it was the last thing you bought me,
when you were on your deathbed,
and I knew your message said,
"Don't be a fool; finish school!

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        02-05-2002     Betty Eskdale        

It sure must have been hard! Wonderful that he wanted you to succeed and that you did, for him......

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