For many years, my father’s name
Followed Rich Little’s in the book
“Who’s Who in America”; and
There were times I wondered aloud
Whether it might have been better
To be a different man’s son.
Only a few lines of blank space
Seemed to separate these two men
In their listings – in many ways
So much alike, and there in print
Their record of accomplishments
Took up equal lengths of the page.
But my dad did no impressions;
Although truth be told he left some.
In the end, though, I’ve found it best
To follow the second man’s way,
Even if for a while it seemed
The harder path, the tougher row,
Leaving a much more private mark.
Because at some point in this life
I learned the cost of mimicking:
Even the most valued tracing
Pales next to an original.
23 AUG 2003