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Meditation for Father’s Day
opal

No allegorical struggles along
 1
pebble-strewn father and daughter path
 2
that led to mutual understanding
 3
for us dad. No final bonding
 4
or gentle hand-touching
 5
as we pushed our rowing boat out
 6
onto the misty pond. No idyllic days
 7
spent in galleries where we discovered
 8
a mutual love of Georgione’s madonnas
 9
or leisurely lunches where you handed over
 10
a casual cheque for  a few thou’ that left me
 11
speechless. No family parties when you stood up
 12
and thanked me for just being me, then
 13
dabbed your eyes while aunties went ‘Aaaah.’
 14
Things never were that way with us; just wounded eyes
 15
boring into the dark and our tie –
 16
a mutually resounding voice, fractured church bell
 17
sounding in our heads; the constant knell of
 18
‘What the hell?’
 19

10 Jul 09

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Comments:

Very poignant.
 — BxPR

That's good - I hope it was poignant in a way that made you smile - someone cried when they read this - mega-embarrassment.
 — opal

This is very good. I don't know that I'd leave "What the hell?" on its own line though? When reading aloud I need some sort of comma or stop in the middle of line 18, maybe an em dash.
 — Ananke

I was with you until the last line, where I fell down the church steps!  Isn't there any other way to end this?  It's so jarring, like a shove from behind.

My father is very good but he's never done any of those things, either, especially passing over a wad of cash!  Maybe you could ask your Dad to go look at pictures or have lunch...I know, some things can't be done.  
 — Isabelle5

Thanks ananke - I want the shock of the last line to stand on its own - I've moved it and joined it back a few times but I've decided to leave it for now - I put in a semi-colon as I felt it seemed much gentler than a dash in this context.
 — opal

I don't think a semicolon works grammatically though? A comma would.
 — Ananke

The ending is a stand against the allusions to the sort of sentimental father-daughter stuff served up in films and the media - On Golden Pond with Jane Fonda and her father is alluded to here, plus awful advertisements and comedy films with people like Steve Martin. The reality of a father/daughter relationship is a long way from all that crap even in the happiest family - occasionally it descends into the irretrievable mess of mutual incomprehension described here. I'd love to ask my dad to look at pictures but I'd have to ressurect him first - he died on my birthday.
The title is meant to give the clue that on Father's Day - that manufactured schmaltz-fest, many of us feel a bit rubbish really.
 — opal

i related to this quite well, apart from the money.
no, there was no money.  no line 10, 12 or 13 either.
the fractured bell is perfect.  i can see why someone might cry
when reading this, but i also see a grin in there too.
do you need a comma after 'us' in line 4?
you are directing this to dad, aren't you?
you could say 'father-daughter' to eliminate 'and'.

nice poem.  you brits love your aunties, hehe.
 — jenakajoffer

Hey, Opal, it's not just fathers on Father's Day, plenty have bad thoughts about the perfect mother on Mother's Day, too!  
 — unknown

Hey unknown, I've been down that road - decided to take the path less travelled with good old dad this time.
 — opal

yeah
what the hell
 — unknown

Good work!
 — gombola

rubbish
 — unknown

yeah
what the hell
: )
 — fractalcore

i think i prefer this as prose. it feels shoehorned into a formless form if that makes sense. the writing is very good, as a poem it doesn't work for me as is.
 — noodleman

Embarassment?!  It's TRUTH.  What's to be embarrassed about when u tell the truth?  This reminds me of MY FATHER.  God...we won't even go there.  Check out my poem, "Like Father, Like Son" and you'll get the jist of what I'm sayin', Opal.  This really hits the nail on the head for me.  Are you sure we don't have the one?  :-O
 — starr

I meant the SAME ONE.  :-)
 — starr

this isn't as beautiful as it might be, though it might be beautiful somewhere. there's too overloading of the line with image, and the images stay and don't evolve, and all that evolves is the droning voice, a funereal toll, and it's dreary here. possibly, this is a fractured moment and it allows you to write outside your cliche, your voice? that you're simply 'losing it', and, in losing your footing, finding that you can still walk?

maybe the next poem will pull it all together. or not... it depends on how real you are about talking true instead of just saying true things.
 — trashpoodle

^ Pay no attention to the man who thinks he is an authority on other people's truths.  
 — unknown

talking true instead of just saying true things.

Boy, you are really something else.  God, help us.  You are beyond obnoxious.
 — unknown

love it...
 — brother_sun

Opal--this is really good.  I'm not too fond of the format but I know, being the writer you are, you probably messed around with different styles before settling on this one.  It is such a sad state of affairs that all hollidays have become "Hallmark Moments."  
 — PaulS

I find it pretty pathetic that the only way many families relate to each other is through the fakery and trite messages they serve up for the emotionally inarticulate and the just plain selfish to offer sops through these increasingly commercialised "celebrations" of "dear ones" lives. I love this poem because it speaks clearly of what a poem should speak about and admire it for the craft and artistry with which it is imbude.

Larry
 — larrylark

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