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  • April 7th, 2010 | 2:05 AM
30 Poems in 30 Days - Sundays

My personal challenge for National Poetry Month is to write
a poem a day about the father I have never known.


For church I wore my Sunday uniform -
a lacy dress my grandmother made
puffed out with white tulle petticoats
that almost kissed my nose when I sat down
short white gloves
patent leather shoes
and ankle socks edged in lace.

As the bells called us to gather
I watched fathers guide mothers into pews,
a hand placed low on the back,
then the children filed in,
one by one,
sandwiched between two towers of love.

It made my heart ache
to see a father
share a hymnal with his daughter
pass a coin from his pocket
and let her drop it in the plate on her own.

I held my mother's hand
as she found her own place to sit
away from the families, and the people,
who would frown at her
for being divorced.

I never thought about what it must have been like for her
seeing all those happy families
singing for their salvation.

I only thought about me.
It was always about me.

Each week
the service ended the same way.
I pretended to whisper The Lord's Prayer
but really
I prayed a different prayer of my own.

My father, who isn't here,
Tommy is your name.
When will you come?
When will you come?
When will you come?
for me?

@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
    All Rights Reserved
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 20 comments — Leave comment )
April 7th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
I love the ending. Ouch.
April 7th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Whoa.
Thank you.
April 7th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC)
Beautiful, Susan! Love the petticoats that almost kissed your nose and patent leather shoes. Last stanza is a killer. Powerful!
April 7th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jama! It's funny, it seems I always keep writing past the ending and then go back and chop off a stanza or two.
April 7th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
These days you would be hard pressed to find a family with 2 parents. That is how things have changed. I don't know if people even go to church as a family anymore either. We always went as a family. I hated it and when I got bigger I made up excuses not to go. Yes the big D word Divorce nice when my father tries to blame me for putting too much pressure on the marriage having a child like me. How dare I be born not perfect. I have never forgiven him for that and I don't think I ever will I was 26 when my parents got divorced. If there was that much pressure the time to leave would have been when I was 6 not 26. Doesn't blame himself at all. Always blame someone else that was his answer. I know this does not help you but it helps me in more ways than you can know. I loved your little prayer at the end as well,very moving XX

- Anne McKenna
April 7th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Let yourself heal, Anne.
April 7th, 2010 12:26 pm (UTC)
Stunning, Susan. It brought tears to my eyes.
April 7th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Meredith. It sorta choked me up in the writing of it.
April 7th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
I bet it did. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.
April 7th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
Wonderful imagery and a great last stanza.
April 7th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Your icon made me giggle.
April 7th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Oh Susan... beautiful.
April 7th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Lisa.
April 7th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
I remember wearing gloves and lace-trimmed ankle socks to church as well. (Gloves and hats were only for Easter, though, not for every Sunday.)

This project you've undertaken is extremely brave, Linda.
April 7th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Kelly.

Yes, hats for Easter but I always begged for gloves. They made me feel grown-up. I also had a few of the cutest purses and had to have a cloth hanky in them!

It's a bit of a scary project but has already yielded something amazing which I won't divulge until next month. :)
April 7th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
Wow. Amazing and powerful!
April 8th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Thank you.
April 7th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
These are so wonderful and heartwrenching. I'm finding myself looking forward to them each day.

Are you going to make a book of them when you're finished? Or is this a more inherently personal project?
April 8th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, Kate. I would love to do a book with them, it just depends on what I have when I'm done. It's not my normal genre because I don't think it works as it is to be a kid's book but who knows where I'll be when the month is over. :)
April 12th, 2010 09:54 am (UTC)
tanita says :)
Another tearful memory.

In college, I tried to attend services in the Spring, and had to actually get up and leave church -- everyone looked so good and shiny and righteous and ...whole.

Sometimes, it's just too much.
( 20 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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