Sunday 16 June 2013

A Fathers' Day Lament

Unfortunately not everyone has happy memories of supportive parents and wonderful childhoods. On this year's Fathers' Day I have thought about the man who sired me and wish him well, wherever he may be. I am the man I am due to or more likely despite him. For this I am grateful.

it pierces

in your matching navy joggers
in your matching light grey
         woolly teddy-textured fleeces
with matching number two haircuts
the thirty-something man
          in yellow suede Caterpillar boots
and the pre-pubescent boy
          in Nike trainers
hold hands
one on one
the boy calls the man
with filial love in his eyes
the man calls the boy
with paternal love in his eyes
they chat intimately
and walk on
deep in conversation

and it pierces
their comfortable, mutual
I eye them both
I ponder
the reciprocal
of my Father
and me
his eldest son
spurned for the younger
my sporty
the prodigal
who will have nothing
           to do with the family
so my Pater makes do
with his first born
hoping some day
for the return of the submissive one
shaped and honed in his image
rather than the rebellious intellectual
who, despite all
never conformed
to the patriarch's tyrannical
now weakened
and lonely
it's too late for respect
too late for liking
perhaps too late
           for love
it pierces

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