Roger Liebmann


You are started, little one, the result of a silly, wanton sexual desire,
Though there is nothing silly about your coming to meet your sire,
You are a precious miracle of life, a gift who didn’t ask to be born,
No finger of blame should point to your birth, with its ugly scorn,
Your parents did the deed and must shield you from that mire.

Happy and proud I am, your father to be, less so in her wedlock,
I would not have sought your mom, yet I’ll not allow them to mock
Her as a unwedded mother as she brings you up in this strange land,
For you, sweet little one, I’ll write to her dad and ask for her hand,
I look to you meeting your dad, when at last you sail free the dock.

I will be as good a dad as can be, when you deign to enter our life,
I will change your nappy and feed you gruel and soothe your strife,
I’ll take you to play group and look for shoes before we go home,
A dad must discipline and teach a child so that it should never roam,
Should you not love your old dad, it would cut like a whetted knife.

Author’s Note: When I was drafted into the Army (1965), I went down to the enlistment office in Mount Clemens and signed up for three years. I was put on a 120 day program which gave me 120 days to clean up my affairs before I went to basic training. I wanted the time to drive out to California from Michigan to see my dad.

I asked a girl (who was an Irish national) to drive out to California with me. I hoped that she would pay for some of the cost of the trip and I hoped to seduce her as well. The latter hope was the one that came to fruition. It was more fruitful than I had imagined. While I was in Basic Training she phoned and told me that she was with child. To say that I was surprised by this voice from out of the blue telling me that I was going to be a father would be an understatement. I did manage to say something – I said: “No shit” (and she hung up).

I had some serious thinking to do during all that free time one gets in basic training (yes that is an attempt at irony).