My father

In a departure from my recent light writing, something more serious and personal, as I’m marking a year since my father’s death. Here’s a poem I wrote several months ago as part of my grieving process. As always, your comments and feedback are welcome.

 

A few months after my father died,
One day I choked up inside
at a horrible thought:

To whom will I say I love you?

You see,
My brothers and I don’t say it to each other.
Maybe we should, could, would,
But it would sound strange.
Habits of over forty years don’t easily change.

My parents are gone.
I have no kids and I never will.
I am single, that could change still
But I’m not holding my breath.
And in the meantime,
After my father’s death,

To whom will I say I love you?

You can say it to your friends,
You love their quirk, their charm,
That thing that they do
Or just that they’re there for you.
And that’s fine, that’s swell,
But unless you know me really well,
Don’t tell me you love me when this is through.

Now,
It’s not about loneliness, this is something else.
And I want to explain myself,
I have thoughts to share
So through the modern magic of the screen
My brother and his family are there,
My little nephew is keen
As the adults talk, he bounces in and out of view
And then out of the blue,
He says “Uncle Noam, I love you!”

The frozen smile on his mother’s face
Her outstretched hand
Tell me this was not planned.
And for a spell, at least,
Something is unleashed,
Something I thought broken is intact,
My gob is… unsmacked
And I reply,
“I love you too.”

At Lewes Castle, summer 2018

 

1 thought on “My father

  1. I hope that you have shared this with your nephew, or that you’ve put it into an envelope for him – things to open when he’s older, and maybe needs to read that he is loved, and that the love he has inside him is a precious thing to give.

    Like

Comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s