A Thousand Miles Away

I am going through some old books and in one book of poems by a Perry Tanksley I came across this poem entitled “A Thousand Miles Away.” It is a negative counterpart to my “Bedtime with My Boys” and a good reminder of the value of reading to and talking with our children.

My boys would burst into my room
And find me in my chair,
And they would ask advice or tell
One of their exploits rare.
But I would wave them on and say,
Whenever they inquired,
“Perhaps you ought to run along;
Tonight I’m very tired.”
And I’d go right on reading news
As they would beg to stay,
But I ignored them like they were
A thousand miles away.
Ah! Things are different now and I
Would give my all in fact
To have them burst into my room
And see them trooping back.
Ala it’s not to be because
My sons grew strong and tall
And moved a thousand miles away-
So far they seldom call.
And it’s not that I want them here
If they are called elsewhere,
Nor is it that I doubt their love.
I’m sure they really care.
But I can’t help but wonder what
The outcome might have been
If I had laid the paper down
And talked to them back then.
Of course, I can’t take these things back
But for my sons I pray
That they’ll each take time with their boys
Before they move away.

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