To Dad

I used to watch you mend engines,

Until you got mad.

You taught me to ride my bike,

Then lost your temper with mum.

I wanted to be you,

Doesn’t every boy want to be,

Their dad?

 

Then she asked you if you,

“would like to move out” and, what?

You said yes just like that?

No fight? Did I even,

Enter your head?

 

So then your flat for tea,

Once a week after band,

Swimming now and again,

But she didn’t like that so,

You stopped, caught a bus,

Disappeared.

 

Better if you just stayed away,

You told me later, but even then,

I didn’t buy it.

You weren’t strong enough, I understand that,

But neither was I and you,

Were supposed to be my dad.

Did you really think you were being noble?

 

Because, to a twelve year old, it,

Felt like you didn’t care.

Cue twenty years of feeling,

Worthless, Of being terrified,

Of becoming you.

 

When I walked out on my children,

I thought I had but,

I went back and fought,

When things were tough.  I even,

Invited you back onto my life,

After mum died.  Thought things,

Would sound different, talking as adults.

 

But you lie to yourself,

I suppose you have to,

But it’s no good to me.

So goodbye, its best,

If I just go.

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2 Responses to “To Dad”

  1. “Terrified of becoming you.” You have no idea how much that resonates with me. Essentially the point of my poem about my father. Thank you for sharing this with me. You captured it well.

  2. A great poem that captures the pain and starkness that so many people have on this topic. EWell constructed and so alive.

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