The Story of a Father and Son in 55 Questions

I’m taking a break today from writing about nature in Chicagoland to post a poem about my dad, who died 25 years ago today. This poem tells the story of the 27 years I was lucky enough to share with him.

Who are you?
Are you my Dadda?
Why are you always smiling at me?
More yogurt!?
Can I have a hug?
How’d you get so big and strong?

Can we go play?
Will you read to me?
Why does Great-Grandma Oliver have no legs?
Why is there no hair on your head?
Why is your face so fuzzy?
Who made God?
Is there food in heaven? (yes) Does God grill?
Am I good?

Will you let me try reading my own books?
Can I play t-ball?
Can we have father-son time?
May I…tickle you!!!!
Let’s wrestle!?

Who’s your favorite super hero?
Can I sleep over at Ken’s house?
A Giant Elvis versus Godzilla. Who would win?
Wanna try this new video game?
Did you know there was a really bad war called World War II?

How do I talk to girls?
I really like Lisa? What should I say to ask her out?
Lisa broke up with me. Why?!

Can I borrow the car?
Can I stay out an extra half hour?

Why do you keep bugging me!?
Why can’t I go out with my friends!?
Why are you making my life miserable?



How do you know so much? (thought, but not said)

What did you do when you served in the Army in Korea?
How did you meet mom?
How did it feel to pull someone through the broken window of a burning car after an accident?
How did you become such an excellent woodworker? Those animals you carve are beautiful.
Do you like your job?
Are you happy, Dad? (not asked, but thought)

Want to go for a hike?
Want to sit out in the backyard and talk?
Should I take the job?
Do you want to stay for another beer? My treat.

How was your trip to Colorado with mom?
Where do you want to retire?

Are you going to beat this cancer? (not asked, but thought)
Can I get you anything, dad?
Do you want to try to walk, dad?
Are you feeling any better?
Can I turn you?

Is there ANYTHING I can do for you?
Are you waiting for me to say it’s okay to go?

You can go now, Dad. I love you.

Copyright (text/photos) Andrew Morkes


Looking for some great nature destinations in Chicagoland? If so, I just published Nature in Chicagoland: More Than 120 Fantastic Nature Destinations That You Must Visit. It features amazing destinations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Click on the title to learn more. The book has 306 pages and 210+ photos and is only $18.99.



I have been a writer and editor for more than 25 years. I’m the founder of College & Career Press (2002); the editorial director of the CAM Report career newsletter and College Spotlight newsletter; the author and publisher of “The Morkes Report: College and Career Planning Trends” blog; and the author and publisher of Hot Health Care Careers: 30 Occupations With Fast Growth and Many New Job OpeningsNontraditional Careers for Women and Men: More Than 30 Great Jobs for Women and Men With Apprenticeships Through PhDsThey Teach That in College!?: A Resource Guide to More Than 100 Interesting College Majors, which was selected as one of the best books of the year by the library journal Voice of Youth Advocates; and other titlesThey Teach That in College!? provides more information on environmental- and sustainability-related majors such as Ecotourism, Range Management, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Built Environment, Sustainability Studies, and Sustainable Agriculture/Organic Farming. I’m also a member of the parent advisory board at my son’s school. Stories about my work have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Southtown, Beverly Review, and Practical Homeschooling.

In addition to these publications, I’ve written more than 40 books about careers for other publishing and media companies including Infobase (such as the venerable Encyclopedia of Careers & Vocational Guidance, the Vault Career Guide to Accounting, and many volumes in the Careers in Focus, Discovering CareersWhat Can I Do Now?!, and Career Skills Library series) and Mason Crest (including those in the Careers in the Building Trades and Cool Careers in Science series).

My poetry has appeared in Cadence, Wisconsin Review, Poetry Motel, Strong Coffee, and Mid-America Review.

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