Granddad's Gift, a poem by Michael Ball at
Nathan Dumlao

Granddad’s Gift

Granddad’s Gift

written by: Michael Ball



That year, the morning of my birth
was one day before Father’s Day.
My mother sent her father a telegram
(remember them?) announcing me.
He declared me his Father’s Day present.
The rest of his life, he treated me that way.

As we left the Occupation Army in Japan
when I was four, my parents divorced. Wed
in Passion and split in reality’s harsh light.
I tired of ‘Oh, you’re from a broken home.”

It seemed to Boomer normal. Half the boys
I knew were raised by single mothers, with
many reinforcements. My cavalry was Granddad,
along with his son and eight brothers-in-law.

Lord knows, I had myriad male role models.
My mother still kicked into dual parenting.
My genetic father disappeared to Germany,
neither sending cards, nor child support.

My mother went about the necessary deeds,
earning enough for my sister and me solo.
Come Dad’s Day, I wish Wanda was alive
to receive flowers, chocolate and kisses.

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