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The Man in the House

by John Kent
In my father's house
was a man of great moral
strength and dignity.
He instinctively knew
right from wrong.
He was a towering man
and he knew all the
answers to my questions.
He taught me to be honest
and accepting of others.
He feared no one
and was protective
of my mother.
He was stern,
but not without reason.
He was gone all day.
When he returned at night,
the lines of a hard day's work
were etched in his face.
Still,
he always had a hug for my mother,
a smile and a chat for me.
He taught me that failure was okay,
as long as one made the effort.
He told me success
wasn't measured by a paycheck.
At night he would smile,
tousle my hair
and tell me to sleep well.
I often heard him laugh
and never saw him cry.
He knew more about baseball
than any man alive.
He gave me the greatest of gifts,
his love.
One day when I was twelve,
he died.
It was the only thing
he ever did wrong...



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