Gifts from father to son

(Another Fred Bassett dandy)

It’s hard to keep saying “no”
to a child’s incessant begging,
even if it’s for a wicked dart gun
just waiting to blind a brother.
In a moment of weakness,
I reasoned that I could balance
the danger with strict supervision.
Then I remembered how, at twelve,
I had longed for a. 22 rifle.
Too proud to press my poor father,
I banked on Santa’s deeds,
until that long-awaited day dawned.
I tried to hide the disappointment.
How could I presume upon Christmas?
But likely, Dad saw it on my face.
For sure, Santa’s Daisy air-rifle killed
my faith in magic that morning.
So I swapped a hard-earned bicycle
For a beat-up, single-shot Remington
that I prize today like a rare book.
Recalling my father’s gifts,
I stiffened back once more.
But you must know, if you have a child,
how hard it is to stick with “no.”

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