Arthur, our dad, told us all about who knew what and who to know.
He was a big wheel in his time, a bit preachy, to tell the truth,
but we were too young to know that then.
Sometimes it rubbed people the wrong way, but sometimes the right one, too.
When we were kids, on the one hand, we wanted to believe everything he told us.
On the other, well, he’d been known to tell some stretchers
about the ones that got away, whales of tales, you know,
the ones that make you shake your head, even though he’s your dad,
and you love him, so you want to believe everything about him.
But the older we got, of course, the more we learned to put him in perspective.
We realized he loved us so much that he told us things we wanted to hear,
rather than the things he could have told us that might hurt,
might shake our faith in other people and the world we live in.
What can I say? He’s our father, we love him, so amen to that.
But it’s hard to remember the real him now, to separate
that father we thought we had, from the one he actually was.