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This is from my soul. My father died 20 years ago this year. Now I must bury my last hatchet.
I have been a poor father and husband myself. Kind of screwed up. Carried guilt for years.
Must let it go.

Father's Son

Fdf5205c-8b5b-4da8-a6dc-63fe28d680a9by Billy J. Stewart23 Mar 2014

In your leaving of that morning, we were the ones that you forgot,
Discarded in your quiet rush to go,
I stood there, looking out the stain-glass window, deep in thought,
Seeing red, and knowing, what I didn’t want to know.
You left without a word or a regretful, backward glance,
Yet said it all, too much to at that moment bear,
I heard the sound of crying, I was locked in passive trance,
I heard it, me and my sister, huddled there.
Something in me changed forever, I can surely say,
Became, in me, an all-enduring theme,
A sense that nothing lasts for good, and this is nature’s way,
A bitter twist to every hope, or any daring dream.
I did not think to understand what happened then,
And yet, now looking back, I knew it all too well,
For empty there, the truth was all too true, we knew it when
In broken hearts it found a perfect place to dwell.
In one sweeping move of nonchalance, you walked away,
To hide your face from me for over twenty years and more,
You broke the bond that tied this heart to yours that fate-filled day,
When from my hand, your hand, you quickly tore.
And tell me how, at five, was I supposed to know
That this was no deliberate act of war upon my mind,
That we were just collateral damage, caught in afterglow,
Imploding debris of the consequential world you left behind?
In all my years of childhood grew this sense of isolation,
And a guilt that came from thinking I’m to blame,
And my adult mind could bring me no respite or consolation
From the memory of your favourite little game.
I was just a message boy, to bring your words of lust
To women that you wanted more than Mother,
And in pleasing you I always did just what I thought I must,
I helped you take to bed next new lover.
You will never know the guilt of carrying the weight
Of seeing all the devastating cost,
Or the sense of pending Karma that would return to me my fate,
This, the price to pay for innocence that’s lost.
So I buried it inside, the way that guys will often do,
And deeper than the deepest part of hell,
And through my growing up I would often dip a bucket to
Sip the water drawn from this bitter, poisoned well.
And there, locked away inside my teenage rebel head
Were a million questions I could never ask,
You weren’t there, and I just made it up instead,
And hid the scars behind a troubled, tortured mask.
Then… with passing years, the doorbell rang one night,
And opening I saw before my eyes,
Your form, a caller standing in the glow of orange light,
It was all that I could to do to mock surprise.
In you came, bedraggled from the night, and looking there,
The years of holding words had taught me nothing much to say,
I didn’t know you anymore, and I acted like I didn’t care
For all the years I felt you stole from me away.
But I asked you why. I asked you why. I asked you why.
And so, in comic pathos, came the weak and dank excuse,
You wanted space, you kept away, you didn’t want to pry,
I sat impassive, hearing this, your answer so obtuse.
So the father and the son became reacquainted with each other
Like two strangers who had met so casually,
We would sit to chat the odd time, and we would look at one another
I would wonder how this had ever come to be.
And then, you had your little fall.
And thus were taken from the conscious world we know.
But as you went I did receive the sister call,
And it fell to me to sit with you a while before you’d go.
So there I sat, beside your bed, for four days long,
Mulling over every little thought and word,
This the man I once admired, then so big and strong,
Me the frozen child, it all was so absurd.
So in the end the doctors came to talk with me
To tell me it was time for you to leave,
I signed the papers, gave consent, and let them set you free,
I felt so numb, and yet I found I could not grieve.
So what, my father did you leave to me
From this cup of life you took and over-spilt?
The only thing that’s left, and what I took on to maturity,
Was guilt. Was guilt. Was guilt, Was guilt. Was guilt…
…But…
Years have come and gone and many tears since then,
Where I have learned to be a broken father too,
And in so learning I keep failing again, and then again,
In my head sometimes I think I’m turning into you.
Yes it would be for me an easy self-obsessing thing
To stack up blame, absolve myself from any changing call.
And as I stare here at my hand, and this golden wedding ring,
I think how very short I too can fall. God knows I’ve done it all.
You know, if I could bring you back for only half an hour,
To tell you what I’ve learned, or what I think I know,
I’d bring us back together, if I only had the power,
If just to tell you…that I’ve had to let it go.
And I forgive you for the injuries of yesteryear,
It’s OK, it’s gone, it’s over now, it’s done.
It’s not worth the shedding of a single further tear
From me, the stumbling fool, who is the father’s son.
No, now I see the way it was, and how it is for real,
How life is way too short to carry hate,
I am now the last to point the finger at how others fail,
I cannot do it, such is this poetic fate.
It’s time for looking forward at a better way,
It’s time to leave, forever, the damage in the past,
I hold no further grudge against you, I can sincerely say,
And with away the grudge………………………goes guilt at last.
Goes guilt at last.

You know that………I forgive you Dad.
I see you struggled with a “responsibility diminished”,
I forgive you for all the grievances and bitterness we had.
Now it is finished. It is finished. It is finished.