WHAT I WANTED HIM TO SAY
I should have called
I should have written
I should have done something
to let you know I was thinking about you.
I thought about you every day
and wondered if you were happy
and tried to imagine your smile.
When I saw other little
blond-haired blue-eyed girls
my heart always caught in my throat
because they reminded me
Every day on your birthday
I paused to think of you
and hoped you would feel it.
I’m sorry I missed so much of your life,
missed getting to know you,
missed hearing you call me daddy.
Most of all, I’m sorry I hurt you
and ever made you feel that
my not being with you
meant you weren’t a good person.
That’s what I wanted him to say
and I think I could believe it,
all of it,
unless he tried to tell me
how much he loved me
because then I’d know
that everything he said before
was just a lie.
@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
All Rights Reserved
Oh boy if om;y it was that easy. If only we could always hear only the things we wanted to hear or see the things we wanted to see or even believe the things we wanted to believe. How much different would the whole world be then. Our whole world.
It does not work that way unfortunately. Sometimes I wish it did but life isn’t lived on wishes either I have tried that one too.
My heart aches for you because you never got the chance to do any of those things. It aches for me for a different reason I do have the chance.
I JUST CAN’T.
– Anne McKenna
Another powerful ending. I like the defiance in the face of pain.
I did an exercise once out of a book called Forgiveness by ?Susan and Scott Simon? I was working on adult child issues and they suggested writing a letter from my dad in which he said everything I had ever wanted to hear. So I did and I cried and it helped.
One other thing that really helped me is the idea that although I wanted to be a good mother, I made a lot of mistakes, mistakes I never would have made if I’d known better, and he and my mother probably did too.
I love the poems you are writing about your dad. They are powerful.
Susan, this poem was so eloquent. Simple, straightforward, right to the point. Very touching, especially the last few lines. Loved it!
I’ve been terrible about commenting this month, as I’ve been so wrapped up in my blog and the end of the semester chaos. I have been reading every day. I have to tell you that as someone who was adopted, all these poems resonate with me. It’s how I feel about the woman who gave birth to me. I wonder about her all the time, though I don’t feel the sting of loss that you do.
Thanks for sharing so much of yourself this month. It’s been an emotional journey, but one I’ve enjoyed taking with you.
I chatted via Facebook with a former student today. Back in 1993-94, my second year as a teacher, he was in seventh grade. Now he’s 29 and has two daughters, ages 6 and 8, with two women, an ex-partner and an ex-wife. We chatted about spiritual matters a bit (we’re both Christians) and about his not getting to see his daughters. He pays his child support and he calls his kids, and he wants to see them more. He’s in the northeast and they’re in the south, and he’s moving soon to a state closer to where they are.
Next time I chat with him, I might refer him to your poetry so he makes sure he never loses his commitment to stay in touch with those girls. Their mothers might make it difficult for him, but he can never just give up and walk away.
tanita says 🙂
Yeah. I think I could have believed anything except, “I love you,” and “I’m sorry.”