Island

when i was a little girl
my dad owned an island
although it was very small
that when the tide came in
we all had to leave
for it wouldn’t be there at all

but come morning,
when we’d pack up the boat and set sail
it would be back again,
and we’d swim and eat boiled crabs
till the tide came in
and covered it all over again

via Island — The Daily Post

Wherever You Are

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.

If I were having a nightmare, my father, who would have turned another year older today, would be the one I’d want to see on the other side of that door. I’d open it, see him and say, Happy Birthday, Daddy. I hope you’re having a hell of a party on the other side, because you sure had a hell of one over here.  And we, the ones who are left behind, are kinda still paying for it.

It made sense now when my father told me a long time ago that he’d done the best he could to provide for us, that he’d given us the chance of an education – and that was it.  No properties to hand out, no houses to pass on.  Nothing.  Not that we were expecting any because he already told us there was nothing for him to pass on.  But he did leave us something – bridges, lots of burned bridges.

But on his birthday, if I ever found myself in that nightmare, that’s who I’d want to see – for now.  Even if it’s just to say, Happy Birthday, Daddy.  I hope you’re well, wherever you are.

Daily Prompt

Palimpsest

palimpsest

It’s been a year since you died,
since a distant cousin posted a video of your body
being pushed into the furnace – on Facebook, no less –
out of goodwill because none of us could be there for you,
only because your last request of us
was not to.

It’s been a year since I learned about yet
another indiscretion of yours –
another woman to get away from the other woman you fled to
when you ran away from our mother
I often wonder and ask myself if you left her
because you felt smothered.

But this time you bought this other-other woman
a house, paid for in cash
so even in death, in the midst of the craziness
and the mess you left behind
No one could take it away from her,
how could we be so blind?

You loved with a love that was without end
but only as long as that love prevailed, I guess
you loved to show that love to anyone
there who could see it
But now I wonder, if it was really you
who needed most of it.

Since you’ve been gone, I’ve realized  that I never knew you
the man I wrote poems for as I was growing up
the man who got away, who could do no wrong
But that was before I learned of the pretense
and the multitude of lies
to keep up with the farce of being rich, happy, and wise

So now I find myself wondering
if my love for you is shallow, and only skin deep.
I’m such terrible daughter, you know,
for when you left, I did not even weep
How could I allow those things that you did towards the end
erase all the good deeds that you did before then?

But they did,
and no matter how hard I try now,
I can’t remember the man that I always thought you were
You’re just a palimpsest of what you used to be
and I fear each day that what you became
is what will become of me.

Daily Prompt

Memories Of My Father

When I look at my son, I see his love for his father
and his father’s love for him
undying, never wavering
something that stems only from within
Yet when I think of my own father,
the well of memories run dry
there’s a bit of this, a snippet of that
there’s not a lot, no matter how hard I try
but one memory does stand out,
and it’s an obscure one at best
it’s when I woke up from surgery
and there he was, holding my hand, at rest
his eyes were closed, as if he were sleeping
and when I stirred, he, too, awoke
stroking my hand, avoiding the pic line
my own voice barely a croak
“Anesthesia can give you amnesia,” he said
“and I hope that you’re okay.”
But I knew then that even if I forgot all
I’d never forget that day
For that’s the only time I ever saw him
so vulnerable and so alone,
he loved me the best he ever could
doing everything so I could stand on my own.
But amnesia hits me now as I sit here
thinking of moments that we once shared
for all that comes is when he stroked my hand that day
a hero so vulnerable, his greatest weakness bared.

Apophasis

It’s almost a year since you’ve been gone
and I often find myself thinking about you
Remembering the laughter in your eyes
even when everything was falling apart around you.

For so long that I can ever remember,
you always relished your precious freedom
you found the woman who was your equal
while our mother almost lost all reason

So I tried so hard to not be like you,
a man with too many lovers
But I only ended up playing the field,
though my heart was too slow to recover

the way yours always did,
the quick way that you moved on
it was a curse I had to bear,
still loving those so long gone

Sometimes I find myself thinking of your final days
hearing the last words you spoke to me then,
still the distance was too great between us
though I knew we’d never see each other again

So as this year goes slowly by,
the first year of really being without you
but it’s like you’ve been gone long before you were really gone –
Did it feel the same for you, too?

Two For The Road

I.
What is so wrong to want to be loved
even when he knew it was so wrong
buying his new mistress more
than he gave to his own
leaving his children
to fend alone
thank goodness
we’re all
grown.
.
.
II.
Good-bye, father, whom I barely knew
but for the visions of your smile,
your laughter, and easy guile
you loved us, true, yet still
freedom from us, there
behind your smiles
memories,
now be
kind.

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