Write it Honest

Take up the pages.

They belong to you.

It does not matter what the subject is.

The matter belongs to you, too.

Since the last week in July, my schedule has been abnormal. I chose to take one month off from writing to take time with the boys, John and Charles, and to train for a new job.

So far, so good.

I have written about some of our travels and cooking. While there is one more to come, I thought about what one month off of writing did for me.

 It is not something I do often. But, the choice made me think.

What can I write about? I have two novels to edit, but there is so much more to sketch and keep in a folder for future ideas.

Write it honest.

For the first time in one month, I wrote. A poem came out. The piece will be added to a current poetry chapbook I’ve stored away.

~*~

Legend of a Father

They could not understand their father.

The grown children did not want to.

What kind of man lets his first wife

play tricks on his daughters?

What sort of man allows

another to step in as dad?

It cost him one daughter

and her two children—

Two grandsons he never expects to see again.

 

“He was not a good father,” the grown children would say.

When the clouds turn gray,

it is easy to see him

as nothing but a man cast in black.

“You can’t make a father

out of a man like that.”

 

The bad father’s daughters chose the paths for their lives.

They picked and sorted from their parents’ lies.

Far away, far away one daughter would stray

to keep herself safe from an unhappy home.

 

What kind of father would leave such a mark—

that his child would choose to run so far?

 

Ten years free, he chose to live as he never did

with bartending, parties, and learning to dance.

Women came. Women went,

except for the one

who stayed around.

 

One wedding ring later and a precious boy,

The father said his son

 was something more

than a boy to carry on his name.

He was his best chance at fatherhood.

 

A second son entered the world

when the father questioned

his second marriage.

He’d fallen out of love

by their fourth year together,

But, the bad father chose to stay in fear

he would lose his sons like he lost his daughters.

 

How easy it is to fill

a child’s head with lies.

How long they stay,

or for life reside.

 

The father stayed in the marriage

so this time he was the man to raise his kids.

No other man would ever step in.

The boys would remember the father he is.

 

Love long dead and sweat to survive

the long twenty years when the father

began to believe he would die alone

after a hoped for divorce when the boys

left for college or another future they chose.

 

Who would eat stale, molding bread?

Those who starve and see the loaf is still food.

The father’s marriages turned stale in early years.

Not made of love, romance, or the things that last.

He needed a few more years to survive,

and he prayed his sons would love him still.

 

 

The father committed the greatest sin.

How could his sons forgive him?

Forgive they would not for they were embarrassed and ashamed.

The bad father once again lived up to his name.

He knocked up a girl.

Age: 24.

Nothing could be as it was before.

 

The father faced a final decision:

To keep his sons’ loyalty,

or leave for an infant son.

 

His one present daughter dismissed the father.

He was rotten and wrong.

Nothing could fix him.

 

On a Father’s Day, he bowed his head and cried.

His older sons sat through a sermon about fathers.

They did not call or text him at all.

No family called the father when his second son

earned his Eagle Scout.

 

Why would they call the bad father of all—

who’d broken enough hearts and did not deserve

his four children’s ears, conversations, or love?

 

Did they blame him for the scars of childhood,

or for the day their grandmother died?

The bad father’s mother could not take the shock.

 

There was an uncle that father loved dear.

A man name George,

So tall and strong.

A woman out marriage gave birth to his son.

His wife said, “If you leave,

you’ll never see

our girl again.”

Uncle George stayed, and saw his son in secret places.

He never called the boy by name.

 

A two-year old giggles and cheers

when his father lifts him high

to see the band playing on the street.

He was the father who washed his onesies, changed his diapers,

and put him to sleep.

 

The father who loves the boy’s mother—

not because she is some  girl—

but a woman with discussions

of classic movies, French Revolution, architecture, and mountains.

But, no one believes such things.

Not when the world is drawn

on the surface in black and white.

 

The father’s fifth child will know nothing of

 older siblings or bad fathers.

The boy will call

the father the best of all.

 



By Rebecca T. Dickinson

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12 thoughts on “Write it Honest

  1. robincoyle August 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM Reply

    Goosebumps. So sad!

    • rtd14 August 28, 2012 at 6:54 AM Reply

      It is sad. I have been hesistant to share the poems I’ve written over the past five years for my chapbook. They are nonfiction poems in nature, and I’ve only shared one other on the blog besides this one.

      Thank you, Robin for your comment!

  2. Vikki (The View Outside) August 28, 2012 at 1:08 AM Reply

    Wow, a month off! Was it hard?

    Lovely poem honey xx

    • rtd14 August 28, 2012 at 6:55 AM Reply

      It was hard at times, because I wanted to return to my two books. At the same time, travel with John and Charles gave me time to reflect about my future goals of writing in addition to my new job.

      Thank you for the compliment and comment, Vikki. I am trying to keep up! :)

      • Vikki (The View Outside) August 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Lol, no worries honey :)

        I’d love to take time out to reflect, but, if I don’t write for a couple of days I’m itching to get back to it ;)

        Xx

  3. patgarcia August 28, 2012 at 2:36 AM Reply

    A wonderful poem focusing on fathers. It make you think. Ciao, Patricia

  4. patgarcia August 28, 2012 at 2:39 AM Reply

    Reblogged this on Walk On and commented:
    This poem speaks to my heart. It points out the mistakes made when children become fatherless.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

    • rtd14 August 28, 2012 at 6:57 AM Reply

      Thank you, Patricia, for both of your thoughtful and meaningful comments! I am glad it touched you. I have written so much about fatherhood from articles, poetry inspired by my husband, and in my book. I think it is an untouched subject some people shy away from. When I look at fathers who truly want to see and support their children and cannot for whatever reason, my heart hurts for them.

  5. Elliot August 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM Reply

    That is a nice long one, but a very good one, and a thoughtful one.

    I try to say to people that a few days off every now and then isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be a bit of a brain charge thing. I haven’t taken a month off since I started writing again, but it appears to have had a good effect with you.

    • rtd14 August 29, 2012 at 7:02 AM Reply

      It is long. I debated whether to break in to two separate blogs, but that is difficult to do with poems. They might not read the same.

      The only other time I took a long break was when I was a reporter at my last job. Sure, I wrote every day. But, I stopped creatively writing. It was not so much by choice, but where I was in my life. This time I did it to prepare for a new job, and spend more time with my family before the summer ended. Now it is time to return to both of my books.

      As always, thank you, Elliot!

  6. Raani York August 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM Reply

    This is a very emotional and touching poem. I like it very much, even though it reminded me of my own dad’s passing. Still, it shook me – and the emotions go deep. Well written!
    I’m following you now!!

    • rtd14 August 29, 2012 at 8:30 PM Reply

      Thank you, Raani! I am pleased to hear it was touching! I am sorry to hear of your dad’s passing! I hope you have many happy memories.

      Thank you also for the follow!!!

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