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  • April 23rd, 2010 | 12:01 AM
30 Poems in 30 Days - FROM FATHER TO SON


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


FROM FATHER TO SON

His father, my grandfather,
was a music man
with so much talent running through his veins
he could play just about anything he wanted to play
and he sang, they said, like an Irish tenor
even though he was born, most likely,
on the Indian reservation.

Music wove in and out of his life
braided with bottles of alcohol
that brought on a giant case of mean
and chased my grandmother,
my father, and his big sister
out to the barn to hide in the hayloft
until it was safe to come out again.

Eventually Grandma ran away
taking my father, and his big sister
across the country where she could
work in the factories like Rosie the Riveter
to help the war.
But she kept making poor choices
when it came to picking men,
giving my father nothing but bad examples
of how to be a father.

If I close my eyes
and let myself imagine my father
as a little boy
hiding in a hayloft 
from his angry, drunken father
who beat up his mom,
I can feel sorry for him.

But when I open my eyes
and think about what
he might have learned,
all I feel
is sad.


@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
    All Rights Reserved



It's Poetry Friday!



The round-up of all today's Poetry Friday posts is over at http://6traits.wordpress.com/
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.



Comments

( 19 comments — Leave comment )
(Anonymous)
April 23rd, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
The whole story just gas a sad ending, told so beautifully it makes me cry. When we close our eyes you can imagine almost anything. The trouble is we have to open them eventually and face reality. I agree that is truly the saddest part of all.

- Anne McKenna
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
Yes, it's that facing reality that is the toughest for me sometimes.
ext_179202
April 23rd, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)
It's true....it's a hard reality sometimes to open one's eyes and realize that reality is a different story. However, the experiences in life is what makes the strong version of you come out in ways you never even thought it would.
Beautifully written!
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for stopping by to read.
(Anonymous)
April 23rd, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
So beautiful, and so sad. I love the way you end with both truths -- the one with eyes closed, and the one with eyes open.

Janet @ Across the Page
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC)
Thank you, Janet.
(Anonymous)
April 23rd, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
Great post!
That hayloft is warm and comforting, but also chilling. What a powerful image.

Laura @AuthorAmok
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC)
Re: Great post!
Glad the emotion rang true, Laura.
(Anonymous)
April 23rd, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC)
Oh this line: "braided with bottles of alcohol" These poems continue to grab me.
Jone
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC)
Thank you, Jone. I'm glad that are continuing to grab you.
jamarattigan
April 23rd, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Last two stanzas pack such a punch. Love the truth of this poem!
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
Thank you, Jama. Writing that truth is often the hardest but most necessary part of any story, I believe.
ext_229875
April 23rd, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
This one is my favorite so far. I LOVE love love the last two stanzas. I really hope these poems become your next book. I would buy it in a heartbeat.
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for all the support. Here's hoping it becomes a book.
poetteach
April 23rd, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Wow, Susan, what a difficult poem to write. You go, girl!

Laura Evans
all things poetry
susanwrites
April 24th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
Thank you, Laura. Yes, a difficult one like all the ones this month.
mlyearofreading
April 24th, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)
The Past reverberates through the generations, and yet at this point, what caused pain and broke families is now being turned into art and healing.
susanwrites
April 26th, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
That's it exactly. I've carried the anger and the pain for way too long and it has to stop. I'm so glad I am able to turn it into art and it is most definitely helping me to heal.
(Anonymous)
May 4th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC)
tanita says :)
Oh, I understand this. My Dad's mother chased he and his sibs at gunpoint - a mean, mean drunk. And sometimes I waver between thinking of how horrible and tragic that was... and thinking, "Geez, you'd think that would have taught him to be a better, kinder father..."
( 19 comments — Leave comment )
WHO AM I?



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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--Anne Rice

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