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335: On The Days I Am Not My Father

"On The Days I Am Not My Father"
Scott Owens

I don't yell. I don't hold inside
the day's supply of frustrations.
My hands stay open all day.
I don't wake tired and sore,
dazed from senseless, panicking
dreams. On the days I am not
my father I hold my son
when he cries, let him touch my face
without flinching, lie down with him
until he falls asleep, realize
that just because he has a sharp tongue,
just because he's sometimes mean,
just because he's smarter than me
doesn't mean he'll become my father.

On the days I am not my father
holding you is enough until
holding you is no longer enough
for either of us. I listen well.
I let things go unfinished,
in an order I didn't plan.
My mouth is relaxed. My teeth
don't hurt. My face stays
a healthy shade of pink all day.
On the days I am not my father
I don't fill the silence with my own
irrational rants. I don't resent
the voices of others. I don't make fun
of you to make myself feel better.

On the days I am not my father
I don't care who wins
or loses. The news can't ruin
my day. I water plants.
I cook. I laugh at myself.
I can imagine living without
my beard, with my hair cut,
without the fear of looking
too much like my father. On the days
I am not my father I romp
and play, I don't compare myself
with everyone else, the night
is always long enough, I like
how much I am like my father.

On those days I am not like him, I am so much better, yet somehow he is still my role model.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
I wish I could write a parallel one about my mom, but I don't think I ever like how much I am like her :|
Nov. 10th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
This is a great one! Thank you very much for sharing -- it really hit home for me too.
Nov. 10th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
I absolutely love this. Killer line:

I like how much I am like my father

Though my father was wonderful and not like anything in this poem at all.
Nov. 10th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Do you subscribe to The Writer's Almanac emails or listen to the radio program?
Nov. 10th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
The emails, yes. Usually if I like a poem, I save it and come back to it months later, but this one fit well with my life and I felt the need to post it.
Nov. 10th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
It is a wonderful poem, and Th Almanac is such a great thing to have have in my inbox every day. Thank you again for always posting such interesting works.
Nov. 10th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Nov. 10th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
i hope i am not like him.
Nov. 10th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Nov. 10th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Very nice.
Nov. 10th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
"I like
how much I am like my father."

This says a lot. On the days we are not busy hating in ourselves what we see in others, we are able to appreciate others better
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


poetry, exceptindreams
a poem some days

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