Middle Man

Having children didn’t frighten
Me. My sphincter didn’t tighten
Contemplating childcare
And changing poopy underwear.
It never struck me as chore
To spend my Sundays doing for
Instead of having done for me;
Those TV sitcoms that we’d see
Where dad’s a put-upon old grouch
Who slouches scowling on the couch
Ingesting alcohol and sports
Whilst scratching whiskers, chest and shorts
Were Middle-Earthen fantasy
Like Mirkwood elves and orcs. To be
Intimidated by bit
Of mini-me in mommy spit
And PJs with back-flaps and feet
Seemed laughable. I didn’t greet
Impending fatherhood with fear,
Though neither was I moved to cheer
As if I’d done some feat heroic.
On the line from freaked to stoic
I was near the midpoint: Pleased
And confident, in no way seized
With doubts about my dadly fitness,
Likely ’cause I’d been a witness
From the other side of one
Who’d made the challenge look like fun
And rarely overwhelming, so
It seemed a simple thing to go
Ahead and do what Daddy did
And coach a watchful, willful kid
(Or two) to someone in the end
Whom I’d be glad to call a friend.
They call it Father’s Day. That’s fine.
The honor, though, has all been mine.

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