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  • April 25th, 2010 | 12:11 AM
30 Poems in 30 Days - IN MY DREAMS

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


Sleep rarely came easy to me
so I made up stories
about how my father traveled
the world doing important work
and how one day, soon, he would
come back to find me.
My audience of stuffed animals,
crowded around me on the bed,
listened intently and never disagreed
with my expectation of his return.

My mother came before she went to bed
and tucked me in real tight,
Snug as a bug in a rug, she said
leaving me trapped beneath the crisp, cotton sheets
unable to run from the bad dreams ahead,
the nightmare that he came back
in the middle of the night not to stay,
but to steal me away from my mother, my grandmother
the only life and family
I had ever known

I'd wake up screaming
and my mother would run to me
but I could never tell her
my dream.

I wanted him in my world.
I didn't want to go into his.

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


( 12 comments — Leave comment )
April 25th, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
Those last 2 lines whoa
I can understand that you didn't want anything to change in the loving world that you had but there was always that one bit missing.
Would things have been as they were if he was in your world anyway. Things may have been completely different to those which were. My Mother spent her entire day doing everything for my Father when he was around. He was her world and when he was there it felt like we were invisible. Sometimes I used to wish I was or anywhere but there. In the end she used to chase him to the door for a kiss good bye and still could not see anything wrong with that.

I was the only one that could see the true picture here and could not tell her and then even when I did she did not believe me until one day. He left, just up and left, my mother and I as I was the only one still at home and her with a broken arm and all. I will never ever forget that day. I am sure my father has long since forgotten it. That is just how he is. Everything is all about him and probably always will be. Yes I would not want to go into his world either and I am sure I don't want him back in mine. You sadly don't even get to make that decision.

- Anne McKenna
April 26th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
It was hard to think about wanting to know him but not wanting my ordinary world to change.
April 25th, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
It's a fine line between dreams and nightmares...
April 26th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
That it is, indeed.
April 25th, 2010 11:06 am (UTC)
I agree with Mary Lee. I can only imagine how terrifying that would be. The last two lines in particular are so powerful. Well done.
April 26th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
Thank you. It was scary to want him but not want to leave my mom and I think I knew I couldn't have both.
April 25th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
The unexpected turn -- wow.
April 26th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
Thanks, Jama. I like "wow"s... :)
April 25th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
I wonder how many other children struggle with the same fear, of being taken away by the missing parent to a life totally unlike what they're used to. THIS is why I really hope to see this become a book some day. It's important for you to air your story, but it's also vital for those young folks out there -- or former kids like you -- who may be facing the same fears and feelings of inadequacy, and they just need to learn that they're not alone and they're not the only one in the world going through something like this.
April 26th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Thanks. I think a lot of kids have that same struggle, especially when you know the answer is one or the other and one of the choices is probably going to be a negative one.

I hope it will be a book. We'll see. Cross your fingers for me.
April 27th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
Awesome. I can picture you talking to your animals...
May 4th, 2010 09:06 am (UTC)
tanita says :)
Wow. And when did you figure that out, I wonder? Those last two lines are powerful. It took me years to understand the panic attacks I had when my Dad would take a new way home... even taking a side street would have me in a cold sweat... I thought he was stealing me, and we weren't going home.

Ironic how much I thought I wanted him, and yet truly didn't.
( 12 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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