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Evelyn Genao Mar 2018
"Please, daddy!"
You were walking so fast.
Too fast for my little feet to keep up.
Was it that easy for you to leave me?

You heard my tear-filled screams, but you never stopped.
You just kept going.
Farther and farther away, not even trying to get one last look at me.
I punched, pulled, and pushed trying to make you stop.
You didn’t.
You just kept going.
Leaving me behind.
"Please don’t leave me!"

Pain.
I remember it too well.
The heart throbbing pain.
We watched as you left.
Me and mommy.
My eyes were wet.
Hers were dry, cold.
As if she knew this would happen.

I looked into mommy's eyes.
Her brown eyes tangled with lies.
Lying to me for you.
How long do I have to wait for you before you realize that what you did was a mistake? What was the reason you stayed away for so long?
Was it all the stupid crap you did in the past or is it because you don’t want me anymore?

Since you left, I dreamed of your return.
The day you would wrap me in your arms and whisper in my ear,
"I'm sorry for what I did. I promise I will never leave you again,
my little Cookie Monster
."
Then I wake up, hoping to see you.
Praying that it wasn’t all a dream.
But reality soon caught up, and the dream quickly died.

I remember all the tears I had rushing down my face
as I saw you leave me and mommy behind, to never return.
I'm so incomplete without you, I need my daddy back in my life.
You deceived me, you said you would always be there.
You pinky promised.
You broke your promise.
How can I trust you again?

Do you still think of me as your "cookie monster" or
a daughter you never loved, a daughter you could leave behind without a single goodbye in the blink of an eye? I wish you were here to watch me grow up but we both know that will never happen.

"I miss you so much! Won’t you please come back to me, daddy?
I just need to see your face one last time
."
Am I that disappointing I need to work to make you love me?

Hey, daddy even if you don’t love me I will always love you no matter what happens.
I bet you didn't even think about how I would feel when you left.
No, you only thought of yourself like you always do.

You missed all my birthdays, first dates, father-daughter dances,
and you may even miss my wedding, not that you even care.
Did you know that I would wait for the postman to bring the mail and check to see if there was a letter for me? But there never was.
I eventually stopped going, knowing nothing was there for me.  

"Well, daddy looks like you really didn't care about me buts it's in the past. Now I have a family who loves me, stays with me, and likes for who I am.
I don't need you anymore
.”

Daddy, I still need you. Please, come back.
When I was 6, my dad was deported to the Dominican Republic. I remember visiting him in prison before he was booted out of the country. I was only a child then and I don't remember much but the pain is still there. I didn't ever write down my feelings until my English teacher assigned the class a project where we had to write a poem about a struggle that impacted our lives. It was not the best and as the years went by I would add more to it, pouring my heart and soul into it. I think the day presented my poem to the class was the day that I wanted to become a writer. I hope you love this and be sure to comment your thoughts on it. Also, check out my other poems!!
Charlotte Ivy Oct 2017
You're a piece of my dad
Sometimes I find him in your laugh
But then your smile goes crooked and your "bugs" act up again
You find clarity for a moment and then your thoughts become distorted
Was the habit to hard to break or did you think the promises I made for you were fake  
You always told me every day to never give up why can you not wake up
Dad, Jake.. ?
What's your name ?
I feel like we're strangers and I feel like your love was fake
You took a piece of my sister's away and for that I'll never forgive you
Can't you see your own ****** mistakes
You're blind and they were right you are a snake
You fried your brains and I'm afraid it's to late
I can't save you unless you want to be saved
guy scutellaro Jun 2018
dad
above Maloney's bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the wall till 3 a.m. the vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the mattress. it was like being front row center at woodstock. paul keater had seen jimi hendrix play purple haze to close woodstock.

slowly his eyes open. who the hell is he fooling. even without the loud rock music he would not be able to sleep, anyway. the wagon wheel bar sign outside his window blinks soft red neon into his room.

keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, and swings his legs off of the bed. he searches his mind for some distraction to pass away the night hours. he thinks about his x- wife. he remembers going to the phycologist to try and save his marriage.

"dump the *****," martlin said." paul keater laughs softly to himself. "I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." laughing to himself he reaches and switches on the lamp.

paul thinks about *******, surveys the foot high pile of magazines in the corner but instead spots his stack of baseball cards he had collected since when he was a boy. he walks over to the dresser. first, he puts on his giant baseball cap and then snatching the baseball cards, he plops down in the chair by the dresser.

the card on top is willie mays. he takes it in his hand. the card is not worn like some of the others. it looks brand new. although the cards are more than thirty years old he holds the deck up to his nose imagining he can smell the bubble gum that came with every pack of cards.

and he can. and he can hear the roar of the crowd. his team the giants is down three to two. the bases are loaded when willie mays comes to bat. the pitcher goes into the wind up. mays swings. it's a grand slam!

it was paul's tenth birthday.  his dad had taken him to his first baseball game and his father bought him the willie mays card from a dealer. eagerly, he searches through the deck for the willie mays card. he finds it.

oblivious to the loud rock music filtering through his room, paul holds the card to his nose.

fondly, he remembers.

dad.
excerpt from a novel. doesn't quite work as a short story.
Hannah Sep 2017
Entry ~
You were the first man that ever broke my heart. It was the day I was born. You held me in your arms and made me a promise that would rip us both apart. You promised to love me unconditionally from the start. But time passed and over the years those words faded from your heart. In the presence of a war when you had one foot out the door. There are vacancies in my memories where a father should have played a part. Like teaching me to drive a car, or telling me don't believe boys that say I love you from the start. Instead, I looked at every boy with tears in my eyes and willingly accepted every single lie, thinking maybe if I part my thighs they'll learn to love how broken I am inside, but they never do. Just like you they leave without a single clue and I'm left alone, used, wishing my daddy would have loved me too. And I'm not writing this to blame you, or break you, or tell you I hate you. I've made mistakes too. Ones deeply rooted in my relationship with you. And I get that maybe you didn't have a clue that your daughter was struggling in the world without you. But I relied on you to set the standard for boys I would let into my heart. By the time I was sixteen, I felt like a tortured piece of art. I learned to love myself of course. Over the years of ripping myself apart I learned to chart the darkness in my own heart. I don't blame you anymore for my broken parts. I'm healed from being angry at you. I'm writing this to tell you I'm sorry for failing you, and I'm sorry you failed me too.
The apple never does fall too far from the tree.
**
harlon rivers Jun 2018
.
Red sky at morning ...  sailors take warning !!!
First dawn's light steals away over the towering Cascade Head.
A heavy autumn dew dripped from the Whaler's bow rails
as sun rays  flashed like beacons from rain-forest  headlands on high;
where Pacific Northwest rivers September equinox dawning ebb
pushed us mercifully unto the chilling stiff autumn sea breeze.
Dappled sun reigning through the pinkish purple morning sky,
patchy fog adorning the awakening inshore headlands atop the bay,
shining from the pearly gate’s mission bells higher ground ,
beckoning another fisherman lost and found at sea come home...

Heaven’s lighthouse alerts the celestial sky
of the impending eminent soul journey,
highlighting the distant horizon’s breaking swells
capped of white meringue  sea foam.
Sea gulls escort precious cargo's final voyage,
gliding gracefully in the shadows of the firmament,
our lungs filled , revitalized with the salty air's poignant elixir
Pelican vanguard's white light reflection guiding our vessel seaward ,
alone in a perfect storm...

Northwest gales standing up the ebbing tide’s uprising crescents,
waves pounding in rhythmic flow;
calling all angels!   ― my ruminating mantra and plead
The Clatsop Spit’s dangerous song resounds the stark reminder,
life's raucous changing seasons, prevailing winds beckon
with the allure of siren’s call,
that now is nearly here ...

The countenance of flowing salty tears liberating release ,  
vast ocean's raw sheets of saltwater spray would not hide .
He just sat and stared at the seaward horizon
while the telltale tears flowed,  perhaps an unspoken dream
of a merciful final surrender with eyes wide open,
love steering our vessel west where sun shines to set ;
now far beyond the visible ache,  for mine own eyes blur
trepidation teardrops rained as sheets of frothing sea.

The wordless conversation known,  the compass full circle drawn  
like the sacred salmon's cycle ends to nourish back ancient sage
unto its own mandala ―  forever beginning life,  eternally drawn
through river estuaries ― stirred by ebbing infinite tidal pull ...

There is an oppressive weight found within paternal understanding,
and yet,  as certain as the dawn promises the inevitable setting sun ;
all things must pass as sure as all things begin ,
someone you love most,  longest in short life ,
has come forth to break bread at sea as the torch is passed ,
sharing life for the last time comes too soon ― with little warning ...

There was an emotional unidentifiable hollow pang brooding ,
as if letting go gradually,  yet potentially instantly,
that drains every last drop of a breaking heart ache ;
waning strength swallows down hard ― stifled sighs ― lumps in throats, words better left unsaid ― only cleansing tears flow, knowing when they start to purge,  they might not want to stop again.

This moment's final autumn’s changing season’s waning ebb
That final riptide will forevermore change all other rivers’ flow
where oceans set mother earth's rivers free until the end of time ...

My father ― a man's man who seemed to find a peaceful Zen ;
an unfinished life was reborn that day to see it through
as my hands grasped the wheel , compass held steady.
The son to carry on the weight of love and compassionate understanding ;
love born in the blood inspired the fortitude to carry on.
As a life flashed before my eyes on that final raging Pacific sea,
instincts mused by ancient Tyees’ souls stirred drawning sun's
radiant rays of perception ;  accepting this life on earth
would never be the same but would just simply be ,
knowing this light's shine will never glow quite the same again ,
yet radiate a more deeply vivid luminosity...

We melded into that first day of Autumn,
falling silent , and yet our heads held high
There was nothing left to be done but pray with eyes wide open

“spirits of all oceans of mother earth …
show the sacred salmon's tragic heroism, the way back home to peaceful waters”

Few words were spoken as everything was silently said.

"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose,
under Heaven"

The Outrage cleaved the surging Pacific's heave, knuckles white,
the wheel held sway,  climbing mountainous long ocean swells
breaching the south jetty's giant boulder walls ;
there rolls the mighty Columbia jaws,
where all Rivers suffuse with vast oceans, eternally free ...


.... Harlon Rivers    .... September 22nd . 2013
Post Script:
With fondest loving memories of my father's life and times shared~
So much of this day's memory is deeply repressed and each year I try to free a little bit more but each year passed has been privately circle filed, yet I try again to be set free..   Purging emotions so intense that they are nearly blacked out... I did not realize the basis of depth until later private moments... It was in fact the day of the Autumn Equinox a few years ago,  a final birthday celebration of sorts combined with bringing the Boston Whaler Outrage, home.   Dad passed 1 week later after this trip from Pancreatic cancer ...we spend the final 72 hours alone together at Hospice after his birthday..."Crossing Over"

Not unlike myself, there was an inherent restlessness to my father. We found a peace, unlike any other ― one with nature. He used to like to say he felt at home on the ocean. He went out as many as 30-40 miles alone on the rare occasion the Tuna came that close to the NW Oregon ― SW Washington coast...That may not seem like much in land miles, but you cannot see land from that distance and the Columbia River's confluence with the Pacific Ocean is known as one of the most dangerous bar crossings in the world. I thought Dad's life would have a very different ending...this one never crossed my mind, letting go is far more difficult than hanging on ― rivers


June 18th, 2017   Fragments of the Sea
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1954243/fragments-of-the-sea/

June 12th, 2012:  Memories of My Father's Traces...
A tribute to my father ...  
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1995383/traces-of-youa-fathers-tribute/

Thank you for reading ― have a great summer :)
karin naude Jan 2014
my ******* affair
a blood covenant
continues negative on the balance sheets
a constant power struggle
my soul and unwavering obedience the prize
secretly a grudge grows
(encouraged by continual love famine
inclined by love withdrawal punishment)
poisoning the source

uncomprehensible to me
why i am always found unworthy
fathers love, blessing and protection
unattainable
withdrawal, nonacceptance and deliberate bad wishes
fertilizes the acre
what will the harvest be
tug of war for my sanity
my Heavenly Father and mum
vs
the enemy and dad
forge in this firepit
born among ashes
Victor D López Dec 2018
You were born five years before the Spanish Civil War that would see your father exiled.
Language came later to you than your little brother Manuel. And you stuttered for a time.
Unlike those who speak incessantly with nothing to say, you were quiet and reserved.
Your mother mistook shyness for dimness, a tragic mistake that scarred you for life.

When your brother Manuel died at the age of three from meningitis, you heard your mom
Exclaim: “God took my bright boy and left me the dull one.” You were four or five.
You never forgot those words. How could you? Yet you loved your mom with all your heart.
But you also withdrew further into a shell, solitude your companion and best friend.

You were, in fact, an exceptional child. Stuttering went away at five or so never to return,
And by the time you were in middle school, your teacher called your mom in for a rare
Conference and told her that yours was a gifted mind, and that you should be prepared
For university study in the sciences, particularly engineering.

She wrote your father exiled in Argentina to tell him the good news, that your teachers
Believed you would easily gain entrance to the (then and now) highly selective public university
Where seats were few, prized and very difficult to attain based on merit-based competitive
Exams. Your father’s response? “Buy him a couple of oxen and let him plow the fields.”

That reply from a highly respected man who was a big fish in a tiny pond in his native Oleiros
Of the time is beyond comprehension. He had apparently opted to preserve his own self-
Interest in having his son continue his family business and also work the family lands in his
Absence. That scar too was added to those that would never heal in your pure, huge heart.

Left with no support for living expenses for college (all it would have required), you moved on,
Disappointed and hurt, but not angry or bitter; you would simply find another way.
You took the competitive exams for the two local military training schools that would provide
An excellent vocational education and pay you a small salary in exchange for military service.

Of hundreds of applicants for the prized few seats in each of the two institutions, you
Scored first for the toughest of the two and thirteenth for the second. You had your pick.
You chose Fabrica de Armas, the lesser of the two, so that a classmate who had scored just
Below the cut-off at the better school could be admitted. That was you. Always and forever.

At the military school, you were finally in your element. You were to become a world-class
Machinist there—a profession that would have gotten you well paid work anywhere on earth
For as long as you wanted it. You were truly a mechanical genius who years later would add
Electronics, auto mechanics and specialized welding to his toolkit through formal training.

Given a well-stocked machine shop, you could reverse engineer every machine without
Blueprints and build a duplicate machine shop. You became a gifted master mechanic
And worked in line and supervisory positions at a handful of companies throughout your life in
Argentina and in the U.S., including Westinghouse, Warner-Lambert, and Pepsi Co.

You loved learning, especially in your fields (electronics, mechanics, welding) and expected
Perfection in everything you did. Every difficult job at work was given to you everywhere you
Worked. You would not sleep at night when a problem needed solving. You’d sketch
And calculate and re-sketch solutions and worked even in your dreams with singular passion.

You were more than a match for the academic and physical rigors of military school,
But life was difficult for you in the Franco era when some instructors would
Deprecatingly refer to you as “Roxo”—Galician for “red”-- reflecting your father’s
Support for the failed Republic. Eventually, the abuse was too much for you to bear.

Once while standing at attention in a corridor with the other cadets waiting for
Roll call, you were repeatedly poked in the back surreptitiously. Moving would cause
Demerits and demerits could cause loss of points on your final grade and arrest for
Successive weekends. You took it awhile, then lost your temper.

You turned to the cadet behind you and in a fluid motion grabbed him by his buttoned jacket
And one-handedly hung him up on a hook above a window where you were standing in line.
He thrashed about, hanging by the back of his jacket, until he was brought down by irate Military instructors.
You got weekend arrest for many weeks and a 10% final grade reduction.

A similar fate befell a co-worker a few years later in Buenos Aires who called you a
*******. You lifted him one handed by his throat and held him there until
Your co-workers intervened, forcibly persuading you to put him down.
That lesson was learned by all in no uncertain terms: Leave Felipe’s mom alone.

You were incredibly strong, especially in your youth—no doubt in part because of rigorous farm
Work, military school training and competitive sports. As a teenager, you once unwisely bent
Down to pick something up in view of a ram, presenting the animal an irresistible target.
It butted you and sent you flying into a haystack. It, too, quickly learned its lesson.

You dusted yourself off, charged the ram, grabbed it by the horns and twirled it around once,
Throwing it atop the same haystack as it had you. The animal was unhurt, but learned to
Give you a wide berth from that day forward. Overall, you were very slow to anger absent
Head-butting, repeated pokings, or disrespectful references to your mom by anyone.    

I seldom saw you angry and it was mom, not you, who was the disciplinarian, slipper in hand.
There were very few slaps from you for me. Mom would smack my behind with a slipper often
When I was little, mostly because I could be a real pain, wanting to know/try/do everything
Completely oblivious to the meaning of the word “no” or of my own limitations.

Mom would sometimes insist you give me a proper beating. On one such occasion for a
Forgotten transgression when I was nine, you  took me to your bedroom, took off your belt, sat
Me next to you and whipped your own arm and hand a few times, whispering to me “cry”,
Which I was happy to do unbidden. “Don’t tell mom.” I did not. No doubt she knew.

The prospect of serving in a military that considered you a traitor by blood became harder and
Harder to bear, and in the third year of school, one year prior to graduation, you left to join
Your exiled father in Argentina, to start a new life. You left behind a mother and two sisters you
Dearly loved to try your fortune in a new land. Your dog thereafter refused food, dying of grief.

You arrived in Buenos Aires to see a father you had not seen for ten years at the age of 17.
You were too young to work legally, but looked older than your years (a shared trait),
So you lied about your age and immediately found work as a Machinist/Mechanic first grade.
That was unheard of and brought you some jealousy and complaints in the union shop.

The union complained to the general manager about your top-salary and rank. He answered,
“I’ll give the same rank and salary to anyone in the company who can do what Felipe can do.”
No doubt the jealousy and grumblings continued by some for a time. But there were no takers.
And you soon won the group over, becoming their protected “baby-brother” mascot.

Your dad left for Spain within a year or so of your arrival when Franco issued a general pardon
To all dissidents who had not spilt blood (e.g., non combatants). He wanted you to return to
Help him reclaim the family business taken over by your mom in his absence with your help.
But you refused to give up the high salary, respect and independence denied you at home.

You were perhaps 18 and alone, living in a single room by a schoolhouse you had shared with Your dad.
But you had also found a new loving family in your uncle José, one of your father’s Brothers, and his family. José, and one of his daughters, Nieves and her
Husband, Emilio, and
Their children, Susana, Oscar (Ruben Gordé), and Osvaldo, became your new nuclear family.

You married mom in 1955 and had two failed business ventures in the quickly fading
Post-WW II Argentina of the late 1950s and early 1960s.The first, a machine shop, left
You with a small fortune in unpaid government contract work.  The second, a grocery store,
Also failed due to hyperinflation and credit extended too easily to needy customers.

Throughout this, you continued earning an exceptionally good salary. But in the mid 1960’s,
Nearly all of it went to pay back creditors of the failed grocery store. We had some really hard
Times. Someday I’ll write about that in some detail. Mom went to work as a maid, including for
Wealthy friends, and you left home at 4:00 a.m. to return long after dark to pay the bills.


The only luxury you and mom retained was my Catholic school tuition. There was no other
Extravagance. Not paying bills was never an option for you or mom. It never entered your
Minds. It was not a matter of law or pride, but a matter of honor. There were at least three very
Lean years where you and mom worked hard, earned well but we were truly poor.

You and mom took great pains to hide this from me—and suffered great privations to insulate
Me as best you could from the fallout of a shattered economy and your refusal to cut your loses
Had done to your life savings and to our once-comfortable middle-class life.
We came to the U.S. in the late 1960s after waiting for more than three years for visas—to a new land of hope.

Your sister and brother-in-law, Marisa and Manuel, made their own sacrifices to help bring us
Here. You had about $1,000 from the down payment on our tiny down-sized house, And
Mom’s pawned jewelry. (Hyperinflation and expenses ate up the remaining mortgage payments
Due). Other prized possessions were left in a trunk until you could reclaim them. You never did.

Even the airline tickets were paid for by Marisa and Manuel. You insisted upon arriving on
Written terms for repayment including interest. You were hired on the spot on your first
Interview as a mechanic, First Grade, despite not speaking a word of English. Two months later,
The debt was repaid, mom was working too and we moved into our first apartment.

You worked long hours, including Saturdays and daily overtime, to remake a nest egg.
Declining health forced you to retire at 63 and shortly thereafter you and mom moved out of
Queens into Orange County. You bought a townhouse two hours from my permanent residence
Upstate NY and for the next decade were happy, traveling with friends and visiting us often.

Then things started to change. Heart issues (two pacemakers), colon cancer, melanoma,
Liver and kidney disease caused by your many medications, high blood pressure, gout,
Gall bladder surgery, diabetes . . . . And still you moved forward, like the Energizer Bunny,
Patched up, battered, scarred, bruised but unstoppable and unflappable.

Then mom started to show signs of memory loss along with her other health issues. She was
Good at hiding her own ailments, and we noticed much later than we should have that there
Was a serious problem. Two years ago, her dementia worsening but still functional, she had
Gall bladder surgery with complications that required four separate surgeries in three months.

She never recovered and had to be placed in a nursing home. Several, in fact, as at first she
Refused food and you and I refused to simply let her waste away, which might have been
Kinder, but for the fact that “mientras hay vida, hay esperanza” as Spaniards say.
(While there is Life there is hope.) There is nothing beyond the power of God. Miracles do happen.

For two years you lived alone, refusing outside help, engendering numerous arguments about
Having someone go by a few times a week to help clean, cook, do chores. You were nothing if
Not stubborn (yet another shared trait). The last argument on the subject about two weeks ago
Ended in your crying. You’d accept no outside help until mom returned home. Period.

You were in great pain because of bulging discs in your spine and walked with one of those
Rolling seats with handlebars that mom and I picked out for you some years ago. You’d sit
As needed when the pain was too much, then continue with very little by way of complaints.
Ten days ago you finally agreed that you needed to get to the hospital to drain abdominal fluid.

Your failing liver produced it and it swelled your abdomen and lower extremities to the point
Where putting on shoes or clothing was very difficult, as was breathing. You called me from a
Local store crying that you could not find pants that would fit you. We talked, long distance,
And I calmed you down, as always, not allowing you to wallow in self pity but trying to help.

You went home and found a new pair of stretch pants Alice and I had bought you and you were
Happy. You had two changes of clothes that still fit to take to the hospital. No sweat, all was
Well. The procedure was not dangerous and you’d undergone it several times in recent years.
It would require a couple of days at the hospital and I’d see you again on the weekend.

I could not be with you on Monday, February 22 when you had to go to the hospital, as I nearly
Always had, because of work. You were supposed to be admitted the previous Friday, but
Doctors have days off too, and yours could not see you until Monday when I could not get off
Work. But you were not concerned; this was just routine. You’d be fine. I’d see you in just days.

We’d go see mom Friday, when you’d be much lighter and feel much better. Perhaps we’d go
Shopping for clothes if the procedure still left you too bloated for your usual clothes.
You drove to your doctor and then transported by ambulette. I was concerned, but not too Worried.
You called me sometime between five or six p.m. to tell me you were fine, resting.

“Don’t worry. I’m safe here and well cared for.” We talked for a little while about the usual
Things, with my assuring you I’d see you Friday or Saturday. You were tired and wanted to sleep
And I told you to call me if you woke up later that night or I’d speak to you the following day.
Around 10:00 p.m. I got a call from your cell and answered in the usual upbeat manner.

“Hey, Papi.” On the other side was a nurse telling me my dad had fallen. I assured her she was
Mistaken, as my dad was there for a routine procedure to drain abdominal fluid. “You don’t
Understand. He fell from his bed and struck his head on a nightstand or something
And his heart has stopped. We’re working on him for 20 minutes and it does not look good.”

“Can you get here?” I could not. I had had two or three glasses of wine shortly before the call
With dinner. I could not drive the three hours to Middletown. I cried. I prayed.
Fifteen minutes Later I got the call that you were gone. Lost in grief, not knowing what to do, I called my wife.
Shortly thereafter came a call from the coroner. An autopsy was required. I could not see you.

Four days later your body was finally released to the funeral director I had selected for his
Experience with the process of interment in Spain. I saw you for the last time to identify
Your body. I kissed my fingers and touched your mangled brow. I could not even have the
Comfort of an open casket viewing. You wanted cremation. You body awaits it as I write this.

You were alone, even in death alone. In the hospital as strangers worked on you. In the medical
Examiner’s office as you awaited the autopsy. In the autopsy table as they poked and prodded
And further rent your flesh looking for irrelevant clues that would change nothing and benefit
No one, least of all you. I could not be with you for days, and then only for a painful moment.

We will have a memorial service next Friday with your ashes and a mass on Saturday. I will
Never again see you in this life. Alice and I will take you home to your home town, to the
Cemetery in Oleiros, La Coruña, Spain this summer. There you will await the love of your life.
Who will join you in the fullness of time. She could not understand my tears or your passing.

There is one blessing to dementia. She asks for her mom, and says she is worried because she
Has not come to visit in some time. She is coming, she assures me whenever I see her.
You visited her every day except when health absolutely prevented it. You spent this February 10
Apart, your 61st wedding anniversary, too sick to visit her. Nor was I there. First time.

I hope you did not realize you were apart on the 10th but doubt it to be the case. I
Did not mention it, hoping you’d forgotten, and neither did you. You were my link to mom.
She cannot dial or answer a phone, so you would put your cell phone to her ear whenever I
Was not in class or meetings and could speak to her. She always recognized me by phone.

I am three hours from her. I could visit at most once or twice a month. Now even that phone
Lifeline is severed. Mom is completely alone, afraid, confused, and I cannot in the short term at
Least do much about that. You were not supposed to die first. It was my greatest fear, and
Yours, but as with so many things that we cannot change I put it in the back of my mind.

It kept me up many nights, but, like you, I still believed—and believe—in miracles.
I would speak every night with my you, often for an hour, on the way home from work late at
Night during my hour-long commute, or from home on days I worked from home as I cooked
Dinner. I mostly let you talk, trying to give you what comfort and social outlet I could.

You were lonely, sad, stuck in an endless cycle of emotional and physical pain.
Lately you were especially reticent to get off the phone. When mom was home and still
Relatively well, I’d call every day too but usually spoke to you only a few minutes and you’d
Transfer the phone to mom, with whom I usually chatted much longer.

For months, you’d had difficulty hanging up. I knew you did not want to go back to the couch,
To a meaningless TV program, or to writing more bills. You’d say good-bye, or “enough for
Today” and immediately begin a new thread, then repeat the cycle, sometimes five or six times.
You even told me, at least once crying recently, “Just hang up on me or I’ll just keep talking.”

I loved you, dad, with all my heart. We argued, and I’d often scream at you in frustration,
Knowing you would never take it to heart and would usually just ignore me and do as
You pleased. I knew how desperately you needed me, and I tried to be as patient as I could.
But there were days when I was just too tired, too frustrated, too full of other problems.

There were days when I got frustrated with you just staying on the phone for an hour when I
Needed to call Alice, to eat my cold dinner, or even to watch a favorite program. I felt guilty
And very seldom cut a conversation short, but I was frustrated nonetheless even knowing
How much you needed me and also how much I needed you, and how little you asked of me.  

How I would love to hear your voice again, even if you wanted to complain about the same old
Things or tell me in minutest detail some unimportant aspect of your day. I thought I would
Have you at least a little longer. A year? Two? God only knew, and I could hope. There would be
Time. I had so much more to share with you, so much more to learn when life eased up a bit.

You taught me to fish (it did not take) and to hunt (that took even less) and much of what I
Know about mechanics, and electronics. We worked on our cars together for years—from brake
Jobs, to mufflers, to real tune-ups in the days when points, condensers, and timing lights had Meaning, to rebuilding carburetors and fixing rust and dents, and power windows and more.

We were friends, good friends, who went on Sunday drives to favorite restaurants or shopping
For tools when I was single and lived at home. You taught me everything in life that I need to
Know about all the things that matter. The rest is meaningless paper and window dressing.
I knew all your few faults and your many colossal strengths and knew you to be the better man.

Not even close. I could never do what you did. I could never excel in my fields as you did in
Yours.  You were the real deal in every way, from every angle, throughout your life. I did not
Always treat you that way. But I loved you very deeply as anyone who knew us knows.
More importantly, you knew it. I told you often, unembarrassed in the telling. I love you, Dad.

The world was enriched by your journey. You do not leave behind wealth, or a body or work to
Outlive you. You never had your fifteen minutes in the sun. But you mattered. God knows your
Virtue, your absolute integrity, and the purity of your heart. I will never know a better man.
I will love you and miss you and carry you in my heart every day of my life. God bless you, dad.
Dead lover Jan 2016
Well before you know anything else about him,
I'm so happy right now, with my eyes filled upto brim,
Well yeah, it's about a special friend of mine,
Call him a friend, a daddy or a birdie, all are fine.

He's a down to Earth person, with no time to even show it!
Yet people call my birdie, insensitive!
I don't know what do they want to say,
And why as negative they want him to be portrayed.

He's not weird, just unique,
He's not being selective,just doing something for himself for the first time,
You can't call him Selfish.

He's not you, He's not me,
He's better support than us, you'll see!

He's an awesome person, with his awesomeness obscure,
That doesn't make him insecure!
He's no good around people you say,
But in reality, He's the same around all..

He's not fake, expressions he doesn't feel like he doesn't know how to make.
He's just too good the way he reacts,
'cause there's just one way he acts,
That's same,
And no adjective I know,
Could complete his name...

I call him a dad as of yet,
So that such an independent person of humanity,
I don't forget.

**Dad, Please stay
Stay my
Dad
Megan H Feb 2016
All the words he never said
Were written in the stars
Look at me,
They seemed to say.
I'm still here
Let me guide you through the night

All the nights we used to spend
Outside the garage.
His favorite constellations embedded in my mind.
Orion the Hunter.
It would never get old.
I was an image of my father,
And together we could stare at the stars all night long.

So people always ask me
Why I am fascinated with the stars
Why at nights I look up at the sky and smile
And I tell them,
He used to admire the stars as I do,
But now,
He is up there.
He is guiding me throughout this life.
My dad is my favorite constellation.
And then they'd remember-
The twinkle in my father's eye.
And they knew
I was telling the truth.




I miss you, Dad. Forever and always, old man.
L B Oct 2016
Behind the barn in late afternoon
Uncle Ray lifts my brother
to the seat of a harrower
abandoned now
and rusted to this field of family
tilted and monumental
plunging its tines into memory
of broken earth
behind this life of the workhorses they were
My father and my Uncle Ray—talking
Scattered conversation
in hushed tones

...as skyscraping thunderheads
slashed through their heights
by arrows of fire
light the pumpkins
between hay bundles
of time golden
One of my early memories.  I was three.  Between my first and second year,  memory begins for me-- mostly impressions and strong symbols that seem to float without time.  
My grandparents were gone, but my Uncle Ray still worked their small farm in Hatfield, Massachusetts, and we would drive up from the city on Sunday afternoons.  The house itself, was one of the oldest in New England, with the barn attached by a distinctive enclosure, to allow easy access to the animals in heavy snow, like the house described in Ethan Frome.
Five years old and they
   could not hear me in the backyard --
   I called out, the gate was locked and
  the screen door, mesh frayed at the handle,
  was locked too -- I could see it --
  and they still couldn't hear me and I
     was afraid and the mesh
     was frayed and my little finger
         just barely fit through and then
             aunt Lucy came and made sure
                 that I was punished.

(The reward for my fear was
the most frightening and humiliating
experience of my childhood)

                   I hid.

"Get out here!" my father yelled
and his voice made me flinch and
trembling I unhid.

       my uncle and aunt watched
as my father spanked me
harder and angrier than ever before,

       my uncle and aunt watched
the shock of every blow
reverberating
through my tiny body
                                    until

       my uncle and aunt watched
everything let go
and I ****** myself on the floor
in front of them

weeping and violated

I do not remember what was said after

they left the room and
I was alone with my shame
while the sun fell the walls
faded blue the ride home
was silent --

-- all over some torn mesh
      and doors they should not have locked.
I hope it was worth it.
Heather Moon Feb 2014
Dad
So my father,
he goes into the store to buy his $10 a pack for cancer
while he still attempts to hide his addictions from my sister and I.
Now I don't think it would bother me oh so much
but his frugal attempts to sweep the dust under the rug is like using a mop instead of a broom...
We see the crumbs leading to your door from the cookie jar.
Yes, we all have flaws, but you,
you
weave shamefully through the under layers of darkness, devoid of any resemblance to a heavenly nature, you fall like a night creature weaseling through crooked creaky cement alleyways, your gremlin spirit set ablaze.

LIFE, I revel and roll within the taste of each second, I run the grain of life across my tongue until saliva fills the creases and far reached corners of my mouth. I tap my finger to my lips like a true virtuoso, a connoisseur of life. Life.

My father's addictions completely derail me,
not even so the notion itself, I mean yes, but his blatantly obvious ways of avoiding confrontation not only from us, but also from himself.
Like Pinocchio's nose, my fathers back gets hunched more and more, his breath quickens when we draw close.
Father you are not prey, in fact if there be a predator, it is you unto yourself. I can no longer help but to roll my eyes when you tell me for the fourth time in the day that you must take out the trash so as to have a smoke.
I am fed up, excuse me sir, the trash will still be there no matter how many times you take out the "trash" .
The only "thing" that won't be left after you're repeated offenses of the benign chore will be you're dignity because you are so naive and ignorant in the way you dodge truth. How can you live respectfully when you don't respect yourself? Nor do you value what you are spitting out to your own daughters.
I am addicted to life,
I breathe it in with passion,
I embrace the truth within me
and have an eagerness to expand my wisdom.
How come father you do something that you know is a betrayal to yourself? How come you hide away in that old bar, the one with the flashing(flickering) light on the outside, dingy worn out red leather(plastic)booths on the inside, the bar located in some musty  little hole in you're brain and a blind spot on you're heart.
You sit in the back in a lonesome booth slumped like some chump, stuck in a stump, you ooze and wheeze not even grasping for air, no fight left within, you are like mucus, a toad melting into the ground. Sinister and swindling in the greed of you're gut. Your ***** mopey yellow eyes and the shameful acceptance as you indulge in the baths of life's luxuries whilst you poison your body, trash what you hold dear and continue to block out that little annoying voice.
The voice with the cracks in it,
worn out from you're games, the voice that nags and pleads. The one that catches you before you order another round, take another smoke break, the one that pulls you, tantalizes you with it's simple sweet natural charm in hopes of distracting you from your self harming ways.
The voice that chimes in the second you raise your fist to punch me. The voice that is screaming at you when you lock eyes with mine and can see my fear.
Yeah that voice, the little punk one that returns even after the crime of your actions has been committed.
After the music stops and it's just you and the world.
but even then
I don't think you will hear it.
You're living on the edge of the pavement father.
No you wont hear that voice, not when you're twisted and contorted into the sideways way of things. You killed that voice long ago, when you wound yourself deeper and deeper like a clock in time,
when you twirled yourself into that little empty pub, with a quiet pool table, with no hope, a sanctum of greed.
Yes, you're guilty, yes it was you.
It was you who killed the voice inside of yourself.
You killed it when you traded
your dignity and your truth
for yet another
$10 dollar pack of
emptiness,
lies,
and forfiet.
Dead lover Feb 2016
I must admit as well as appreciate,
I have the best father, my good fate.

All along, I had been wrong,
I have been cranky, stupid and ignorant
Yet you were there to make me strong,
And make my incoherent thoughts coherent.

Sorry for my mistake that I did make,
I'll correct it all, For your kindness's sake...
I promise to improve exponentially,
I feel high potentially...
To connect with etiquette,
That I thought you lacked initially..

But you are my dad,
You were meant to win finally
But I promise I would change,
And win this game, eventually
Like a mighty oak tree
you were an awe inspiring sight
Respect commanded from your presence
Crooked men were filled with fright
And while I grew, your hand was stern
Your leadership steered our small tribe
Fed discipline and regiment
Came from a past you could not hide
Kept calm and steady under pressure
Always ready and alert
The one who people would look up to
when in fear or if they’re hurt
A true natural born leader;
A sapient and astute mind
While viewed as witty and gregarious,
approachable and kind
These qualities and human traits
were visible so all could see
You were a brave and valiant man
yet, even still much more to me

They sent you off to war when you
weren’t much more than a boy
Permission was not something asked
when foreign country were deployed
And even though you weren’t commissioned,
rank gave you command of men
So every day tried to ensure
that they would make it home again
You did the best you could, I’m sure;
Was rarely ever talked about
You may have left, but had it with you
And a part did not get out

“Protector” who is watching over
Principle ingrained in you
When duty calls, the first to answer
Shared the ‘code of honor’ too
Just like that hero in the pages
of those comics that you read
So,“Truth” & “Justice” and “The American Way”
were not just slogans to be said
A perfect fit was your career
to those of us who knew you
Always said fell into it
Was something took “for now” to do
While trying to decide a path
Direction in life that you’d take
It’s funny, often life will choose;
Decision not for us to make

And every time you went to work;
That uniform you would put on
Not knowing what you’d have to face
Potential risks and unknown harm
Like ‘suiting up’ to go to battle
Might not leave it with your life
But did not hesitate or waiver
Was your job; Did not think twice
The risks were something you accepted
but in-no-way they defined
The thirty-four years giving service;
Same town lived in and spent time
Relations built; working together
Being there if ever needed
First one responding when alerted;
Helping those who begged and pleaded
Also, if they simply asked
No matter whether big or small
‘Protect and Serve’ - a lifelong duty;
Run to aid those if they called
But this was much more than an oath
Embedded in your moral fiber
Like a coded prime directive,
was not something you could fight or
try denying if you wanted
I don’t think you ever did
Reminder from those comic books
you fell in love with as a kid

You had a ‘Superman’ t-shirt
The one emblazoned with an ‘S’
Would wear beneath your button up
Discretely so no one would guess
You laughed it off as just a game
A type of joke or of the like
While growing up you were a fan
Since you were just a little tyke
I knew for you that there was more
The message you respected too
Face bad guys while maintaining morals and character
A narrative describing you

By definition human beings
Species flawed that make mistakes
A perfect man, not what you were
A task no one can undertake
I know you cared for each of us
You did the very best you could
but discipline, the critics draw
These actions are not understood
Until much later on in life
The child has become adult
Time granting wisdom, with this gift
Deciphering and figure out
Perspective is a funny thing
Eyes opened after having it
With all you dealt with in you life
Amazed you did not lose your ****
A stunning feat that is for sure
What you endured and undertook
Career added and family too
Not one page could write in your book

I only wish, I could have told you
Finally these things I know
Appreciate in ways could not
How passing time has made it so
But that same time took you from us
No longer are you with us here
At least not in a mortal form
My heart though I still hold you dear
Now added to that shirt you wore
You don a brilliant scarlet cape
While flying high up in the sky
And from you bad guys can’t escape
You kept us safe; You taught us well
Each day your wisdom’s guiding me
Impossible to fill your shoes
It's not something I try to be
Instead I strive to be the best
rendition of me possibly
and hope that it will be enough
when looking down, you’re proud of me

So many thought that they knew you
but deep down never did they know
From all of them a secret kept
There was something you did not show
They foolishly ate up your act
To them you weren’t more than a man
Don’t worry dad, I will not tell
but I know that you’re Superman.
Written: April 12, 2018 (revised and updated June 17, 2019)

All rights reserved.
GoldenAmbitionz Jan 2016
The scent of my father never became the norm for me.
always foreign.
The scent of my mother was one I knew all too well.
I loved her smell of vanilla in the winter time .
But I think that's all we had in common
Our scent .
My father on the other hand was like my conjoined twin
The same in mind, heart, & soul.
But something about his scent just didn't sit well with me
So when he came back and told me he loved me
I just couldn't .
But your heart follows me everywhere I go
& I wish it didn't.
I wish you would take it back & act like I was nothing to you ,
Again.
Just please do this one favor for me ,
Love me but leave me alone
& take your scent of deception with you .
MarvelMe Oct 2018
Dad
I looked up to you
I wish I were you

You and I were the same
Even though people told me you were insane

I didn't care what anyone said
Because when I needed you
You always came to my aid

But then you weren't there for me
When I needed you the most
It felt like no one cared for me
I was so lonely

I used to hate you
I'm glad I forgave you

All the thoughts of fantasy
I dreamed us as a family
Ended up being a sad tragedy

I won't make the same mistake
I'll be there for every birthday cake
From the time they wake
To the time we go to the zoo and see a king snake
In fact well even make Swiss steak
Or cupcakes
Or pound cake
We'll play with snow flakes
We'll go see great lakes
I'll be there for heartbreaks

I'll give them the love I never had
I've forgiven you already and I'm not mad
But at the end of the day I'm still glad
You were my Dad
10/9/2018
Dad's are important
Lucius Furius Aug 2017
1  

"Oh, Dad," cried my son,
with the huge, unrestrained sobs of a five-year-old,
"Justin Borley knocked me down. <sob>
He kicked me <sob>
and called me a loser <sob>
because we lost the game."

"Does it hurt badly? Where does it hurt?
Let me give you a hug....
Justin Borley is a bad, mean boy.
A few children are like that....
I will speak with his parents....
You must not be; you must always be kind....
Though you can defend yourself."

"What does that mean?"

"You can knock his leg or arm if he tries to hit you....
There will be many, many other games....
Some you will lose,
but most, I think, you will win.
You will be a champion!".

"What kind of champion?"

"I don't know.... A baseball champion,
a chess champion, a chemist....
You're smart and strong.... You will be a winner!"


  2

"Oh, Daddy," cried my daughter,
with the heartfelt sobs of a sixteen-year-old,
"I loved him so much,
I wanted him so much,
and now he's gone.
I'll never find anyone else to love;
I might as well be dead."

"My darling, you are so beautiful and smart,
so pretty and graceful and spirited....
The boys who love you will be as countless as the stars,
as many as the sands on the shores of Lake Michigan....

"You are like a cherry tree,
putting forth its first few delicate blossoms,
which have been blackened by a hard, late frost.
We are sad, but know --
we feel in our hearts --
that this strong young tree will grow,
that its blossoms and fruits will be many....

"I know it's hard for you to believe,
but you will find other boys to love --
not the same as him --
nothing is ever the same --
but, in their own ways, equally perfect."


  3

"Oh, Dad," cried my son,
with the quiet sobs of a 33-year-old,
"Is this all there is: we're born, we live, we die;
our children are born, they live, they die....
How dispiriting, how terrifying ...
that this universe should be
devoid of meaning and empathy.
We walk on a cold treadmill,
day after day, year after year,
millennium after millennium....
Forsaken.
Why suffer this torment?
Why not step down?
Why not just get off?"

"Some could answer with words about
a 'kind and loving God'....
I can't.

"Fifteen billion years ago, the universe grew in seconds
from a pinhead to a radius of a trillion miles.
The supernovae, nuclear furnaces, forged the elements.
One hundred thousand years ago, **** sapiens emerged
     in Africa.

“Your body is made up of those elements,
contains actual genes from that first **** sapiens....

"You say life's a torment.
Sometimes it is.
But I say
for every ounce of suffering
there is, in time,
an equal, exactly counterbalancing,
experience of joy.
You can play your part in this gigantic pageant,
this extravaganza of joy-sorrow --
or not.
But never doubt that your mother and I love you.
You can walk out into the sunlight,
you can smell the rose-blossoms, newly-opened,
you can let your finger be grabbed by the hand --
the incredibly tiny hand -- of a baby --
or not...."
Hear Lucius/Jerry read the poem:  humanist-art.org/old-site/audio/SoF17.MP3 .
This poem is part of the Scraps of Faith collection of poems ( https://humanist-art.org/scrapsoffaith.htm )
Sitting in the car
Waiting for traffic to move
The cold rain tumbling down the window
The drops collide into a single line.
Inside my father and I wait in the warm heat.

We probably just left to get pizza,
Or Chinese food,
A regular Friday night.

The sound of the radio hums softly in the background.
The soft rumbling of the engine.
The drumming of the rain.

Not a word is spoken
between my father and I,
Each of us just ******* up the silence.
Breathing peacefully.

Over the radio comes a song.
A little old, though well known.
Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wehoweh, wimoweh.

We both know this song.
Grinning we turn the radio up.
Singing along. Dancing along.
Um-um-a-weh.

With each beat of the drum
My father touches the brake.
Quickly, rapidly
Making the car ****.

The car behinds us honks the horn
Making us laugh harder.
My dad persists.
Continuing in this child’s play.

Suddenly it doesn’t matter,
that it is pouring, or
that we are stuck in traffic.
It only matters that we are having fun.

The song ends.
The radio gets turned back down.
We return to our former silent state.
Allie Dotson Sep 2017
The water haunts my house. Appearing so very often.
The nights on which it comes
tears apart all in its path.
No one can stop it.
It burns as it gets a hold of your throat and kills your insides with each sip
a sip so deadly you don't realize there until it hits you so hard you cant stand
correctly, so hard it slurs your words and will make you feel what anger is trapped deep inside you
So deadly it makes you feel as if your dependent on it.
It is planted in your mind,
making you think of it every second of the day, craving the sweet relief of unquenched thirst.
Water kills you and the ones who love you.
Water needs to stay in the cabinet tucked away
where no harm is done.
So my dad will no longer hurt himself or me and mommy.
He is not deadly just the water that kills and injurs.
The water haunts my house.
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