My Dad

My father’s life wasn’t easy
He had worked as a small, young boy
Bringing home milk and vegetables
Instead of buying children’s toys.

He was only seven then
He started working for the church
Exchanging his toil and his time
He never shied away from work.

One of many children
He was known to sacrifice
Never complaining or giving up
He was known for being nice.

As a young man he joined the Navy
Worked his way up the ranks to Chief
Nothing that he wanted then
Seemed to be out of his reach.

The war took him far away from home
It was a sad day when he was captured
The Japanese had invaded the island
Sadly his leg was fractured.

They kept him in a prison camp
Fed only rice, seaweed and tea.
No sugar, cream, or fancy cups
Many men died, were left to bleed.

He saw his share of horrors
Worked hard each and every day
Three years he lived in captivity
Hoping he would someday get away.

While unloading box cars on the tracks
A pat of sugar hit the ground
My dad quickly picked it up
But the sweet powder a guard had found.

A reason to be killed or maimed
The guard looked the other way
My dad let go and prayed that he
Would spare his life that day.

When the war had ended
He was sent on a ship heading home
He met my mom thru family
And one day I was born.

My dad, my inspiration
Never bitter, never sad
Not a ill word had he uttered
Though he was often treated bad.

He once returned to Japan
Where he met the prison guard
The man who had spared his life that day
By never uttering a word.

They wrote for many years to come
Until they both were very old
Both have long since passed away
But their stories are still told.

A bonze star and a purple heart
Among the many of his medals
He really was one of a kind
He was unique, truly quite special.

My father, a man of modest means
Always appreciative and kind
His memory will live on forever
In my heart and in my mind.



Author: Patty Richardson

Writer: Film scripts, poetry, short stories.

21 thoughts on “My Dad”

  1. Such a heartfelt poem about an amazing man.
    It is impossible for us to imagine what life was like for our parents way back then, but for your father to come through all that adversity and still be charming is inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patty.. This is one of the best written works I have ever read in life and ever will. All that biographical emotion comes jumping off the screen right to the heart. Privileged are those that get to read this.. What an amazing man! What a wonderful, amazing, amazing man!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Isha! Your words about my poem touched my heart! He was a very special person! Everyone that knew him liked him. He was without prejudice or guile. He would give you anything that he had and would go without, to make you happy. I always said that if he were a rich man, I would have been driving a Mercedes and living in a grand castle! I called him, THE GIVING TREE (based on Shel Silverstein’s book of the same name). When my boys were little, we would sing this song to him in the car….when we were driving somewhere.
      It’s an old country song by Bobby Bare.
      Might sound kind of corny, but….he was just like that tree! πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Patty, his story deserves to be told.. It’s so beautiful. I imagined everything you wrote. My Papa is also one who gives and goes without as you so beautifully put it. Thank you so much for sharing something this heartwarming. It’s my honour. With such a wonderful writer for a daughter, I’m sure your father’s memory will live on! Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

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