by guest poet Cheryl Lilly,*
(Burien resident 1979-1991)
“I Know a Guy”
If I close my eyes and listen,
I can hear my father’s voice,
Telling me a story
To help me make the right choice.
“I know a guy who did this once.
You should see what happened to him….”
The story was always graphic and dreadful,
Encouraging me to never do that again!
He wanted me to learn my lessons
Vicariously through others’ mistakes,
So as not to learn them the hard way,
Hoping the higher road I would take.
I learned a lot of lessons
From wisdom that Daddy told.
But, sometimes I learned lessons first hand
And left the path that Daddy showed.
It always proved a disaster,
As implied by Daddy’s tales,
When I ignored the warnings left behind
By those guys in the fabled fails.
My father has since passed on,
And I’m a young parent myself.
I understand why he told me those stories,
Now I know just how he felt.
He wanted to protect his children.
Now I’m keeping his voice alive,
Whenever I say to one of my kids,
“My Dad once knew a guy…..”
*(In loving memory of Rob Lilly, who,as a barber,
truly knew “A lot of guys.”)