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My Father's Robes
Ronald Lauderbach


One of my father’s robes is sky blue with  
gold shapes that look like paramecia I
imagine are swimming in the deep sea

water he explored on trips to the South Pacific  
where he stopped being all business for a few  
weeks and made friends with the islanders. His  

other robe is heavier. It’s black with small white
figures that could be snowflakes or stars. My
father wore this robe during winters in Utah

where he snowshoed, chopped wood and built
hot fires to bake his bread. While in his clothes,
I wear my father’s integrity. The worst thing I

ever heard him say about anyone is, "I believe  
that fellow would let you make a mistake." His  
suits fit okay: a weave of wool, compassion and

generosity. My father was rarely a combatant--
white handkerchiefs stick out of his suitcoat  
pockets like surrender flags to petty conflict.

© by Ronald Lauderbach.
Used with the author’s permission.


Ronald Lauderbach says he writes poetry to celebrate life and because he likes to play with language. A retired high school English and journalism teacher (he also coached Pony League, for 12- and 13-year-olds), he tries to follow the advice he gave his students: “If you write poetry that moves you, it will move others.” Ron lives in San Diego, California.




Post New Comment:
A beautiful tribute to a quietly outstanding man.
Posted 06/18/2021 01:10 PM
I enjoyed how you seamlessly wove your fathers character and his clothing togethera beautiful poem, loving and generous.
Posted 06/17/2021 10:37 PM
I love the description of the robes and how they span the seasons, and the last lines about his handkerchiefs are terrific. You give us a glimpse of your dad's personality through his wardrobe, and it's done masterfully. Bravo.
Posted 06/17/2021 09:26 PM
Beautiful poem! Well-written and NOT easily forgotten!!
Posted 06/17/2021 12:56 PM
Ron Stewart:
Beautiful - Ron You've woven your love of your father into the fabric of his robes. Well done!!!
Posted 06/17/2021 09:51 AM
Fine poem. Love the quote about mistakes.
Posted 06/17/2021 09:24 AM
michael escoubas:
Very nice tribute, Ronald. One day my father said, "I trust you." Three words that continue to resonate.
Posted 06/17/2021 09:09 AM
Great descriptions of the robes and when he wore them. Love the quote from him and the closing image of the handkerchiefs/surrender flags.
Posted 06/17/2021 07:01 AM
Love the line about wearing our father's integrity!
Posted 06/17/2021 05:37 AM

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