My Father's Legacy

My father was not a perfect man,
who can claim that right?
A hard working steel man
he got drunk on Friday night.

We lived in fear of him then
did not dare to cry,
never knew what would set him off
or when his fists would fly.

But he was also gentle and kind,
an artists soul had he
and he passed on his talent
to my siblings and me.

My father loved to sing
the old cowboy songs,
and was at his happiest
when his family sang along.

A natural born athlete
he taught us to tumble for fun,
and those of us who were fast
he taught us how to run.

Raised by an abusive aunt
went to work when he was ten,
he didn’t have a childhood
that’s the way it was back then.

Yes, he had a mean streak
some say a mile wide,
but he’s no longer with us
so I’m here to take his side.

I will not write only of the worst
to gain the readers sympathy,
he was both anger and love and,
I am my father’s legacy.