In 3rd grade (maybe it was 4th)
I won the spelling award.
I thought Jack Harvey would win it
When they called my name, I was floored.
Shocked. Delighted. Astounded
That I had scored higher than Jack
But the biggest bombshell of all
Was seeing my dad in the back.
When the principal called out my name,
I was startled and caught by surprise
But I walked to the front of the gym
To collect my certificate prize.
Then I turned to walk back to my seat —
And I was caught by surprise once more.
Could that really be my father
Framed in that far back door?
He had left the hospital early –
The nurses, patients, and staff –
To squeeze in the crowd at the elementary gym
Because his daughter could spell giraffe.
Now beating Jack Harvey was one thing
And ’tis a good thing to know how to spell
But knowing your father is proud of you
Well, that’s just pretty darn swell.