Death Moving On Poem

My father died when I was nine years old. For the next 44 years I have born an unhealed wound in my spirit. It formed from a lack of support from my family, my church and friends I would not allow to know me because I felt shame for not being a man as the world tends to define that. Now, in my 50's, I have begun to mourn my father's death and face the anger I felt about his passing and the abandonment I experienced during the times I needed people to listen and understand my pain.

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My Father's Gone

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Published: August 2010

My father's gone ... he died. He's dead!
Yet, no one helped me calm the dread
I felt with every passing day
at home, in school and even play.
No wake or grave did I attend;
no closure meant: "There was no end."

So as a shroud of sadness fell
my life became a living hell
of constant pain; a rising flood
that chilled and froze my very blood.
My body grew, but still a boy
in temperament, no childhood joy

could lift my eyes above the clouds.
In time, I learned to act for crowds
that garnered accolades of praise
yet, told me nothing of the ways
of how I should become a man;
my mother's son - my father's clan.

Teachers... priests... nobody knew
the real reason I was blue
and so depressed. I could not speak
about a world I saw as bleak.
I dared not dream that I could thrive
within a soul still-born alive.

A counselor I had paid to hear
me talk about my greater fear
stumbled on the unseen pain
I carried every year in vain,
until right then. What utter shock
that after 30 years o'clock

the big hand came around at last.
With tools I learned, I now could cast
my story in a different light.
Nobody understands the blight
of silence stealing time to mourn,
when souls we love, from us are torn.

The truth unearthed, prepared me for
what shook me at my very core
the year my mother finally died.
At 39, this rushing tide
around me surged. I kept my head
and made my grief my daily bread.

Twelve years have passed since '96
when I stared down the River Styx.
It's not too late to seek to share
by writing what is good and rare
about a twisting, rough hewn path
through unshed tears and silenced wrath!

January 10, 2009

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