Other Things: A Poem from Father to Son

Updated on October 7, 2018
Leland Johnson profile image

Sometimes poetry is able to capture our sentiments better than long explanations. I hope this poem reaches you in this way.

Other Things

Son to Father-

I don’t want to speak to you or share what’s on my mind.

You had your chance for all of that, now it’s far behind.

Leave my room and close the door, I want to be alone.

Go and do the things you do,

interests of your own.

You shout at me, you cut me off, impatience is your sign.

You look for things to fill your heart not caring what’s in mine.

Father to Son-

I can honor your request if that is what you need.

Much of what you’ve said is true, how could I not concede?

I’d like to make my case, but it would take a while,

and each defense I offer would just invite denial.

Instead of points and counterpoints let me apologize

and stop the fight before it starts, peace the distant prize.

Though my many faults could never be denied

I daily work to root them out; God knows how hard I’ve tried.

It is a fact that many times they were displayed to you,

and it’s a fact while they were there, other things were too.

Cameras and recordings to capture all you do,

every ball you caught, every fight you’ve fought,

the stuff that makes you, you.

I hope through all my faults and flaws someday you will see

other things were present too,

the things that make me, me.

Love always,


The end Result, we Hope

One night a father overheard his son pray:

"Dear God, make me the kind of man my daddy is."

Later that night, the father prayed,

"God, make me the kind of man my son

needs me to be."

— anonymous

© 2018 Leland Johnson


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    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Betty- Thanks so much for reading my poem! I'm actually hanging onto it for just the right time, like when he's having a struggle with his future children maybe? Thanks again and I'm glad you liked it.

    • Annkf profile image

      Betty A F 

      23 months ago from Florida

      This is a very heartfelt poem, and I think most parents can relate. You did a fantastic job putting it into words.

      I hope you gave a copy of this to your son. I know that he will cherish it.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Hi Ms. Dora- Yes, I think there is a certain universality to the issues fathers and sons face. Thank you for reading, and also for being specific about what you liked about it. I appreciate that aspect of your commentary.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      23 months ago from The Caribbean

      You poem speaks for many fathers and sons. I like the fact that the father apologizes. The anonymous prayer is encouraging.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Flourish- thank you for reading and the encouraging word. Glad you liked it :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      23 months ago from USA

      Absolutely beautiful. This one will get any parent of a teen choked up.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Hi AB! very true, the world would be different and many relationships would be healed or spared trouble. Thank you for stopping by my friend!

    • abwilliams profile image

      A B Williams 

      23 months ago from Central Florida

      Hi Leland, this one is special!

      What if all fathers, all sons, all mothers, all daughters would be open and honest with each other throughout their lifetime and pray this unselfish prayer...

      We'd be a totally different world.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Hi Paula- I'm so glad you liked it! Yes, every parent - child relationship experiences similar tensions don't they? It's so good when time, patience, and communication brings healing. Thank you for your comments :)

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Linda- fathers and sons, mothers and daughters- I think all have these tense moments of misunderstanding, but I think time and patience tend to enlighten both. Thank you for reading and commenting :)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      23 months ago from Carson City

      Leland. This is stunning......actually took my breath away. You've shared a universal reality. Your words will open hearts & minds. Paula

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a thought-provoking poem about a sad situation. It's a great reminder of the importance of the relationship between a parent and their son (or their daughter).

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Hi Mary- I would say its just a snapshot of a moment of difficulty between father and son; one that passed gracefully as mutual understanding between the two was gradually reached.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have witnessed growth and falling out in father and son relationships and I find it sad. There is something I can't really put a finger on to this relationship. There are so many facets to it and it is so complex that I just can't understand it.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Elijah- Thank you for your articulate and thoughtful commentary on my poem. It is much appreciated. God bless. Leland

    • NatureBoy0 profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      23 months ago from Washington, DC USA

      A child hurt by the things it thought important to his young mind, now grown, rebukes his father. A father acknowledges his fault but know somethings the hurting child doesn't and refuse to argue his side of the situation. The only way to encourage the child to remember, especially as he ages, "bread winning" fathers can't always be where the child wants him to be.

      Very well expressed and I thank you for sharing it, Leland.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Thank you, Grace. Glad you liked it. :)

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      23 months ago from Midland MI

      Hi John, I think every parent experiences such an exchange at some point. Thank you for stopping by :)

    • profile image

      Grace Galton 

      23 months ago

      A very insightful poem from the heart. Leland.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      23 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a wonderful exchange, Leyland. Sad but very true in many instances. The quote at the end is also touching.


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