My Father's Pain

My father
how his memory haunts me even now
and the emptiness
that his memory brings to mind

Our bond was so invisible
that it seldom could even be felt
hidden so deeply inside
that words were rarely spoken
within the bounds and bonds of our relationship

For he'd never learned to relate
not really
He spent his life keeping busy
so that he would not have to face
all the pain he held inside

He was there physically
but that was all
and even that was no comfort
for he was not one to allow himself
to be physical with others

No hugs, no kisses
no arm around the shoulder
Oh no, not from him

No words, either
that might have explained why
He suffered throughout his life
without telling anyone
seeking only to avoid
the feel of truth

Was it fear that held him back?
It seems I will never know for sure
for he is beyond words now
and even in my dreams these days
he only mocks me
his laughter piercing me
just as it did in days of old

and now I am left
with the residue of that pain, it seems
even three years after his death

For no matter how I strive to relate
it seems I fail
where it matters most
because I've never learned
how to communicate
the depths of this pain

Pain that somehow came to me from him
I speak, I write, I try
yet somehow still
in each relationship I have
this pain intrudes
and stands in the way of the love I feel

There have been times
when I was sure I had released it
only to have it rear its ugly head again
in the next relationship

It seems so complex
because his pain came to me
through my mother's tears
and her heartache and her fits of rage
for she was the only one allowed
to express such things
in the patterns of our family life

and so, through the years
his pain and hers were mixed together
inside of me
yet I was forbidden to expose them
for fear of some great rejection
of all they knew and believed

and now I pray for nothing more than this
that release becomes reality
so the love I feel might finally be set free
to grow within this life, this time
as struggling, I find

the answers to some questions will arise
in the midnight hour, when spirit, ever wise
will come to me within a dream
and offer hope that will redeem
it all…

? Michaelette ?

Copyright© 1999 Michaelette L. Romano
All Rights Reserved
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