I steadied the ladder and watched you climb,
Rung by rung toward lofty heights.
I cheered, others jeered, your leaving the “woman’s place”
To shatter glass ceilings along the way.
I was dad when dad was needed, mom when he was not.
We made the hearth a safe haven for you.
New alliances formed as the distance between us grew
And ambition must follow its needs.
Your world opened to include airports and hotels,
Mine shrank to housework and the PTA.
“Networking,” you explained, both day and night.
I became a full time dad with a part time wife.
And now you are gone, a new dream takes my place
And I am left, your footprints on my shoulders.
An excerpt from “A Mixed Bag” by Rick Fontes
Available at Amazon.com and other fine booksellers.