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The husband of the mother is presumed
          To be the father of the child.
We think it best that one man should be doomed
          To bear the risk the seed is wild.
Art. 184. Presumed paternity of husband
Black Petal Nov 2021
He's tending the garden.
Earth on his hands
Sweat on his neck.
Sprinkling seeds
From freshly spent flowers.
I can't see his eyes behind his Ray Bans
But I know they're focused, delighted
Observing the occupants and visitors
In his cultivated oasis.
To keep the garden nurtured,
protected,
is critical.
He worries when the storms roll in.
How will they fare?
But he does what he can.
He rids the area of weeds
And cares for slender stems.
It's a promise kept
To tend and till.

In the garden he's a father too.
Simon Piesse Oct 2021
To Ed  


What child were they
When piercing squeal
Grabbed the foreman by the *****?

What child were they
When putty tears
Smeared and blobbed
On the sheeting?

Running from
The construction pit
The thrill of sand and truck
Implodes.
Metal **** makes decent scar
That keeps the girls’
tongues a-wagging.

‘Always heed the ‘Keep Out’ signs,’
The stony man booms at the boy;
‘I told you not to wander where
Granite pavement yields to digger.’

Years ago, that child, was I and
Diggers now are doors and roofs;
Then here, one day, my own boy falls,
And blood comes oozing from elbow.

Running from
The construction pit
The thrill of sand and truck
Implodes.
But, how should I, with damaged tools,
Be the  
Grafter Dad
He’s seeking?
This recalls an incident from my childhood when I was playing clandestinely on a building site and went running and crying in search of consolation...
Sarah Delaney Oct 2021
I remember twirling around in circles, bare feet on the gray concrete floor of the one car garage.
The space filling with the thick smoke from your cigar drifting about, filling both our lungs with the poisonous chemicals.
My five year old self wearing a loose fitted Barbie dress,
“Daddy, look at me! I’m a Princess!” I shout with laughter, posing dramatically.
“Not now, the adults are talking!” You said sternly.
I cower away from you and go back to my childish dancing,
Oh, how badly I wanted your validation,
Your love and attention.
But I was a mere child,
Not worthy of your time.
Perhaps, that was how I learned to be silent,
To be submissive.
How I lost my voice,
But did I ever have one to begin with?
You stole my voice before I even found it.

~sdr
Sarah Delaney Oct 2021
At one point I called you father, and meant it.
You were not my father by blood, simply by marriage.
I had longed for a father figure for as long as I could remember,
A man who would love and raise me as his own.
The good memories were brief snippets of happier times,
While the bad were vivid, distinct memories that lasted for what felt like hours.
A nightmare that I could never escape from,
They were engrained in my memory like the words to my favorite song.
I wish I could forget all the difficult memories and focus on the good times that we had together.
What little they were, anyways.
I wish I could forgive, the way my five year old self did,
Oh, the love and admiration she had for you.
Now all that was left was anger and a bitter resentment.
The anger and confusion that came with the abuse that you perpetuated.
I would never call you Father again, if I ever saw you
I would look at you in disgust and pity,
For you will never know true, selfless, love.
And for that, I feel sorry for you.

~sdr
TomDoubty Jun 2021
“You are treading on thin ice”
the impatient tones of my father
arrive at my ear as glistening
I liberate my treasure prized away
from the dark-cold pond,  the ice raised distorts my sight
to comprehend  an impatient God

“Look boys, this is the land of God”
you praise the valley carved from glacial ice
you are filled with the beauty of the sight
four sons in crescent around their Father
breaths misting the air, turn away
along the ridge above the fields, which are glistening

Are memories always like this? Glistening
where everything is theatre and God?
Now I feel the urge to look away
there is truth in the distorting ice Father
which held tightly fractures, to reveal you in plain sight

That day you praised the sight
with prayers not glistening
but all sour odour and “our Father”
If you conceived a greater God
you never told him to the boy who lifted the ice-
to those who raised their arms in prayer you looked away

We are left to find a way
in life, there is no seer and no foresight
only earth and dirt and ice
but in this barren tundra glistening
scraped out with our bare hands is God
God the Father

Now I stand at that same pond a father
my son treads its edge and turns away
I am no longer in his world, but looking over it his God
And what of my sight?
Is it glistening?
I feel an unease as he raises his own comprehending ice

To all Fathers with their fading sight-
Don’t turn away from all that’s glistening
An impatient God turns to ice
Jacques Maurice May 2021
The snapshot of Now
folds in the middle:
me on one side,
kids on the other.

The snapshot of Then
split in the end --
me torn apart --
them with their mother.
Author Notes

Bridge:
Well I tried to love her
But I didn't get nowhere
Though I died to leave you
I'd be dead if I were there

Chorus:
Visitation
A consolation
But I love you every day
Sunday evening
Time for leaving
But I wont be far away
And I love you every day
Every day

Play the song on SoundCloud:
https://soundcloud.com/user-597090470/snapshots
Joey Jones Sep 2020
The sun slowly rises outside the window,
I watch the peaceful ascension for a while
drinking coffee from an old chipped mug
tasting the moment as much as the brew.

The day before me is one that is far too busy
breakfast is to be made and errands to run
but in this moment my mind can only drift,
a leaf lost on an autumn field of reflection.

I savor a sip and allow the moment its due
thinking back on my youth and its ambitions
I find them unfulfilled but lacking in regret
then weep as I realize there will be one to come.

Daughter, I have worn so many hats in my life
played the roles of heroes and foes on its stage
obtaining my titles and fighting for positions
but your father has been my favorite one.

It is through your eyes I’ve seen this world,
as your tiny fingers unveiled for me it’s beauty,
in my lessons to you, you taught me to dream,
gave voice to my song, and rhyme to my verse.

With you I’ve surfed the shores of foreverland
holding your hand along its tides and beaches
living this amazing dream that began with you
a dream my youth could have never dreamed.

Today, we’ll laugh and play our games together,
finding joy in all those tasks that lay before us,
I’ll hold your hand and call you my baby girl
assuring you my hand would always be there.

But one day, like me today, you’ll watch a sunrise
with your tears blurring its wondrous beauty
my promise will break, the one all fathers make
and that day will fulfill my life’s only regret.

On that morning my breeze will have calmed
my leaf will have found its place in the field,
leaving you with just a memory for a father,
daddy’s little girl without my hand to hold.

Weep child if you must, for that’s living too
then close your eyes and lift up your hand
and I’ll find it, I’ll be the caress of the wind
to lift you back to the shores of foreverland

Where each wave is a forgotten memory
that crashes on those timeless beaches
where a father’s promise is never broken
and daughters are forever daddy’s little girls.


Joey Jones
Zac Shawhan Sep 2020
Is it another year so soon?
My little man, my dear big boy
as time goes on it begins to wound
yet still there remains a lasting joy.
Surprise hugs and silly kisses
shrink my world to you and I
and time’s wounding power decreases
as you teach me to deny
all I have and all I desire
to give it up, to self forget.
This is a truth that reaches higher,
to become content as vignette
Son’s third birthday
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