A newborn is an immense responsibility,

Lifelong commitment well within one’s capability.

Holder of half of one’s genetic imprint,

Carrying on legacy of one’s footprint.

In child’s life, a Dad needs to be at the ready,

For all firsts and against any stumble to steady.

Homework, bike ride, nursery rhymes, without missing a beat,

At varsity games and for music performance be at front row seat.

Driving lessons or bills’ payment.

Dad’s wallet, communal piggy bank, available any moment.

Trip to barber, lesson on twisting tie into neat knot,

Tickets for a ball game, no excuse and what not.

Spoil daughter with shoulder for consolation,

Proudly walk her down the aisle by offering vaunted sanction.

Cardinal rules without exception:

“Never miss any kid’s life’s milestone,

At the risk of the loss of the distinction

Of being the family’s cornerstone.

A child must know, he will never be alone,

Days that are happy, bright, or woebegone.”

Do whatever it takes to help a child succeed in life,

To protect the family, be willing to go to strife,

Do all of the above without asking for anything in return,

Except an occasional “I love you Dad,”

Words warm far more than a tad

Just to make the heart flutter and not churn.

Need it be retold, a baby’s smile, a child’s embrace,

With all their effusive grace 

Mean as much as a phone call

Later on to reassure, greet

Or just be sweet 

As Dad becomes old, sick, feeble, and easy to fall.

Excerpted from The Voice, published in August 2018.


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