The Notebooks (A Father’s Day Poem)

Erika's Dad

A few weeks back, I wrote a post for Mother’s Day. Well lookie here, it’s Father’s Day! If my mom gave me my fandom, my dad gave me something equally important–my words. My cohost Deb often says words are her “kung-fu”, and I’ve stolen that phrase more than once. I’ve always been a writer, even when I wasn’t doing much with it in the sunlight, so to speak.

One of my strongest memories of growing up is going through a particular closet in our basement and discovering a stack of old, faded spiral-bound notebooks. They were the old-fashioned collegey kind with the formal-looking covers. I’d never seen anything like them before. (I was pretty young.) But my fascination at the covers was nothing compared to my delight when I discovered what they held. They were my dad’s, and they were filled with poetry. I can still picture his artistic, slanted, flowing handwriting filling the pages with amazing and magical and touching words. (And a few delightfully doodley drawings.)

I’d never read any poetry that touched me so much. I haven’t since. Those volumes probably influenced me as a writer as much as anything else I’ve ever consumed. I went back to them again and again. I wrote poems that mimicked his style. I…I can’t really say enough about how important they were. So I’ll try this instead:


The Notebooks

A treasure trove

Of words and thoughts

And deeds that never happened

(But some did)


A train of mind

On spiral rails

Of words my father had penned

(And I read)


Of love and loss

And war and fear

Contexts opaque and lambent

(From his head)


A guide of sorts

A goal to chase

An echo of that talent

(Have I met?)


My father has written many, many amazing things. He’s a consummate songwriter, and he used to tell the most fantastical stories, but it’s those notebooks that will always stand out for me. So for those, and for everything else, I want to say this.

“Thank you Dad. I love you.”

Dad on Water



One thought on “The Notebooks (A Father’s Day Poem)

  1. […] year on Father’s Day, I wrote a post (and poem!) about how my dad’s writing influenced mine. Well today is my dad’s birthday, and even though […]

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