Poem for Dad

family story

Grief sneaks up on you – mine has lately. This morning I found myself sitting in the darkness, trying to recite from memory  a poem I wrote for my Dad’s memorial. It helped the grief move around a bit, shake and ruffle its feathers as if it might be willing to take flight some day. Or maybe it will transform into a fish, I know swimming in the Ocean helps these deeper feelings move.

Poem for Dad

I spent my first Fathers Day without you
with my son at my side,
wondering where you were.

Children don’t allow loneliness to enter the day,
so I dreamed of you
raising hell somewhere new and interesting.

You are the fiery ocean foam at sunset.
You are an autumn wave.
You are the way salt water tastes
on dry lips.

Today I understand something
you tried so hard to teach me,
a secret other fatherless fathers know.
We matter less and less each day,
and therein lies the joy.

Dad’s love and let go,
finally happy to make more room
by dissolving into the churning brine
from which everything comes.

You are in the moments when
there is no space between
me and my son.
You are in the Father I am becoming,
and the mystery of what comes after that.

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