Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The writing's on the wall

She cannot tell me how it was
When first she met my father.
I'm looking for some answers
But she can hardly now remember.

Idly sitting, staring vacant
Gnarly fingers clutching beads.
Today she calls me by my name:
A short-lived lucid moment.

Dementia has slowly effaced her
Eroding all her hard layers.
Completely stripped bare, a nobody,
And only now can I stand her company.

I imagine she saw him in me:
My dark moods, my fire and rebellion
So contrary to her hostile temerity
That shushed me and dampened me for fear of fear.

Greedily, hungrily, my mind stored up
Any fragment of him carelessly uttered.
Mapping out his life in colonial fashion,
A cartographer, meeting my own ends.

Thus, he emerged, as I wanted him:
My bold, brave, heroic father.
Traces of him in my literary heros:
But more exotic, god-like...distant?

Never blamed him for his absence.
Only longed to know who I came from.
I'm my father's son, as I'm nothing like her,
Whom I've only ever blamed for her presence.

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