A talented man was my Dad.
Cannot, a word not used by him.
New things he would try.
Until he’d got it right.
He sewed a dress for me.
From a magazine he studied.
Measurements on paper, cut out.
Tacking and hemming, my dress sewed.
A hat of blue with lace.
I watched him at work.
A tailor he could have been.
A hat to church I wore proudly.
A master chef in the kitchen.
Dishes spiced with his love.
Cooking a passion in him.
Always a new recipe to try.
Baking took centre stage too.
Cocoa cakes, Sugi cakes, butter cakes.
Bread puddings and sweat deserts.
A baker at heart, happily baking.
His toolbox another trademark.
A handyman around the house.
A plumber, an electrician, a carpenter.
Not only a fixer; a builder too.
From discarded plywood,
he made table-tennis bats for us.
He taught us the art of kite-making.
And how to use tools safely.
A set of wooden furniture inherited.
Lovingly he restored this gift.
To what it once was before.
These became mine to treasure.
The dance floor his domain.
At least one dance with each lady.
A storyteller; a tale he would spin.
Nights seated around him listening.
A strong, muscled man.
Workman’s hand, big and rough.
What was known as a woman’s domain,
he viewed as equality between both.
I watched; I learned; from my Dad.
Never a dull moment with this man.
Always ready to learn new things.
Never giving up; he’d try again.
He is gone, his voice I still hear.
Patiently teaching me all he knows.
When I tell him I cannot, it’s hard.
His voice, “You can Honey girl, try again.”
A 100-years ago today you were born. Your memory lives on in my heart,
Happy Birthday Daddy.
23 May 1917 – 17 December 1976
By C.E. Pereira