On the 23rd of October, Dear Father

by Chua Han Au

In your eyes, I could see the wearied soul
the vigour and vitality that you once exuded, turned pallid
the fatigue now becomes seemingly omnipresent
sometimes, I wish I could tell you, to take a rest
for all the things that you have done
have made me truly blest

Fathers do not reveal tones of gripe
For maybe this is the duty they sign up for
to be exemplars, respectable and more;

I remember those nights when they were really chilly —
doors slammed, rain pelted, trees hewed, despite that,
you rushed to my room in a hurry
just to check if I had my blanket on

I know I don’t confess my love to you overtly;
I am yet grateful for the many things you taught and encouraged me
English and swimming classes are just some of the few

There are also many things I don’t say but I want you to know that
I truly love you