My Father and I

He didn’t see me when he came
Stepping across the blacktop pushing
His walker with quick careful steps
I watched him many times this way
From high atop my ivory tower
Collecting his water and his beer
It was the job we gave him – to keep him young
We didn’t ask much more of him than this
Yet he gave far more than we ever knew
A selfless sacrifice of sorts
The pain of which he covered with drink
And some begrudged him of it – yet I often
Wondered, what did he owe us?
Who was this man who we called father
Whose heart fought a battle every day
Who made a hero of that which quenched his fear
Making scared men brave and silent men boisterous
And who was it who was selfish really?
We wanted it to be him – the one who drowned himself daily
In his golden glass with chinks of ice and yellow courage
His only faithful friend, Lord Calvert and
Me watching from my window seeing anew
Behind my judgment – his pain
Mere flesh and bone and blood
Memories and life and heartache – the hammering
Of unkindness and calloused unlovingness
With no place for unconditional Love to swell and rise
Or flow or Be – who could we have been had we not hidden
Ourselves away like we needed to be protected by our Lords
Nestled in our husks and made to tremble instead of grow
With a gasp and a quiver – it hit me like a jolt
It was me that I watched – that I judged
Pushing down my pain with words instead of whisky
Wanting Love as I hid behind my ego and my anger claiming I
Was a better one than he – though same we Be
Together we watched and pushed and drank and wrote
And felt unloved, unworthy, unaccepted — until
We disappeared behind the gate with a clink of the latch
And tears streamed as Love found us there – My Father and I

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