An old man

You came from the past,
born to believe in
duty, to always exceed,
to always do your best,
I think you might have
believed in change, but
never felt at home
with revolutionary youth,

you were
a conservative socialist
a moderate rebel
an authoritarian liberal
in the end an old man,
my old man.

Later I heard from others
how funny you were
while at home you dwelled
in resentment for those
who had done you wrong.

You carried work as a yoke
it was always a presence
at home, but still, you cared
about my grades enough
to scold me if they
weren’t up to par with
your high expectations.
My father’s eyes still
follow my wrongs.

I have learned from you
a love for the mountains,
and I probably carry
within me, that same sense
of duty, to try to do better,
to change and conserve
but papa don’t preach,
as the world has moved
away, beyond us.

My father, many years before I was born.

Today we are writing about fathers at dVerse hosted by Punam. This is a bit drafty, but I wanted to focus on the contradictions I see in my father these days (and that I probably have within me as well)

March 21, 2023

10 responses to “An old man

  1. I love how you say “my old man”. You slipped in the titles so seamlessly that I almost missed them. What a loving tribute. I guess we are all full of contradictions.
    You do look like him, isn’t it.

  2. Alexander Misterlich wrote a book, “Society Without The Father,” and I sense European culture has been largely drained of him. This father is far away except for our contradictions. No wonder we were asked to ladder him with song titles. I’m writing a book now where my father figures greatly and it’s no easy work — so many contradictions and I can’t help feel our generation and time is so fatherless that knowing ourselves is lost, too.

  3. You create a fair balance, noting the things that may have been difficult, yet in the end, they serve us well somehow. I like the inclusion of the mountains….a specific similarity that could seem small but may be one of the greatest things to pass on….
    A very striking photo of your father.

  4. I feel like I know a little about who your dad was by seeing him through your eyes. Not an easy exercise to write about one’s parent.

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