Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Absentee father

On the other hand,
he's probably just busy mourning his 
bride's death and
dealing with the ensuing paper storm.
Certainly, he is hyper-involved in religious stuff
(did you know he's becoming a lay monk?)
Carving a headstone for the grave
Babysitting a variable and veritable 
posse of grandchildren.
Physical therapy for his back.
Shuttling various 'old' ladies to 
church and medical appointments.
Dating after forty eight years off the market.
Daily Mass to top off his spiritual tanks.
Mowing the yard.
Feeding the geese.
Plotting a pilgrimage abroad.
Just like all the years he was
in the military
working twelve hour days
hunting game in the mountains
traveling all week for a job
serving his wife's every need and demand.
Checked out.
Yes, that's why his children never hear from him
even now that she-who-must-be-obeyed is gone.
He's just busy,
not mad at or avoiding or indifferent.
Every single day
a year later.

(Poem prompt from Poetic Asideswrite an "on the other hand" poem)

!This poem was submitted to the Thursday Poet's Rally.)


  1. Sometimes you have to take what is yours.

  2. Love your take on Robert's prompt. This is de jackson if I am assuming right? Cuz I came here through the Thursday Rally. :)

    About the poem, I loved the reasoning behind the absent father. It is heal-worthy. Thanks.

  3. awesome take on the prompt.
    there is always a way to soften the absence of love.

  4. This is a very touching piece. : (

  5. How sad...the absentee dad is missing out on so much.

  6. its nice he is busy and not just reading newspaper, dozing by the fire-side :))

  7. wow, i really like how natural your poetry is. very easy to read and inspiring

  8. Father is not lonely
    Father is not sad
    Father ticks and ticks alone
    If you could be the tocks

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts in poetry.


  9. This is a rather moving piece, so accurately worded.

    "That's why his children never hear from him
    even now that she-who-must-be-obeyed is gone"

    My particularly favourite line.

  10. A lovely melancholic poem. It is sad that the father is too busy to contact his children, but have his children gone to find him? Great wording.
    The Lonely Recluse.

  11. Sad and moving. Well written and executed. Makes me wonder if there is a part two to this poem.

  12. I liked how the subject of the poem still has a life. It's easy to forget how normal the lives of some absent fathers are. Most people pictures just drunks in dire straights - not people who still mow the lawn and such.

  13. Fantastic piece and it hits home for me as this is probably one of my greatest fears that I will be percieved as the kids grow as just like this guy...

  14. beautiful and moving poetry this!

    and the template takes me back 4 years. this was what I first used when I began blogging! :)

    My Poets Rally Poem

  15. Making up excuses or imagining scenarios is how we try to make sense of other people's actions in the absence of their own explanation for them. I can relate to this, in a way. Very nice.

    Ms. Queenly

  16. A very meaningful poem. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Arresting piece, and quite takes my breath away (only the second one today to leave me breathless!).

    It interests me to see the varying comments! I do not see this as healing, but rather a sad commentary on how so many of us miss the mark and the purpose of life by keeping "busy!"

    I have a friend (now deceased) who was a Bishop in the United Methodist Church. Wonderful man; however, one day his son said to him, "Dad, you should have been a (Catholic) priest." He always had time for everybody else but his own children. . .

    My entry this week:

  18. Saddening. It's a reminder that sometimes if you cant take time you have to make it. Well portrayed.

    my entry:

  19. nicely done... very emotion driven


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