The old man’s face was gaunt and thin
His hair now solid grey.
His hands where muscle once had been
Showed only bone today.
He tightly clutched his old cigar
Then touched the unlit end with fire.
Those same old hands that tremble now,
Were once so young and strong.
I’ve watched them as they held the plow
Through furrows straight and long.
And looking back now I can see
Those old hands did a lot for me.
But now he mostly sits all day,
And stares through glasses thick:
Through eyes that now are milky grey
That once were bright and quick.
But, listen friend, when Dad could see,
He always did look out for me.
And that old man now bent and low
Was one time straight and tall:
But years of labour, don’t you know
Will cause the strong to fall.
I’m thankful that God gives me grace
That I might somehow take Dad’s place.
That I might use these feet of mine
To walk that extra mile:
And somehow cause his eyes to shine,
And make my Daddy smile.
God knows Dad cried a million tears
In raising me through all those years.
I think that Christ will smile on me
If I should do my best:
And do my duties faithfully
And let my father rest.
How good it is that he can know
He’s welcome anyplace I go.
And if the time should come that I
Have somehow feeble grown:
And wait upon my turn to die
And find myself alone.
I pray to God that I will see
My son, with outstretched arms for me…
William Raymond Waterman