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Written For My Father Who Isn't Here To Know

Papa you're a ghost-voice in my head
the stern task master I can't quite please
Papa you're the man in the high tower
you're the one banging the gavel
you're the one who's known all the worst devils
but from your demonizing
I can't yet seem to be freed

Papa you had your false friends
and you made your false enemies
Papa you had your glamor and your dirt naps
there were rarely many in-betweens
you were the sometime focus of my nightmares
you were a distant Father dream
a human mirage

isn't it surprising how I wish
it'd been better for you
and that I was your first favorite dish
sad how I saw the silver glimmer
in your red eyes
the shining that you might've been
my long lost sweet surprise
that never came to complete fruition

where were you
missing on those late nights
hanging out in dark dingy bar rooms
in small one horse towns
it was your way to whittle yourself down
from the possibility of any great height

why didn't you have any ideas about who you were
or where you belonged
when you returned, you saw that you'd been forgotten
and that we were better off gone
how sad
how misbegotten

Papa you taught me all the ways not to live
inside my hopes were rotten
yet towards your end when you were the weaker one
when you were nearly in the ground
only then were you a Father
the real person
I needed around
all along
the missing Father
to the loser in me
sifting out the last morsels of your life
the very last you had to sieve

you had been the man
so long
the one who'd never been around
the one I looked like

yes you lost me
and I lost you
and I never got you back
it was only until the devil was completely weakened
that the angel in you came on back

Papa I wish you had always been my
I wish you had been my friend
I wish it hadn't taken so long to happen
I wish we'd known each other better
that we weren't such fragile strangers in the end

legal copyright for this poem/work and also for this
writer Melissa A. Howells and also for this legally copyrighted site title
Meloo Straight From Her Tilt-a-World
re-edited for impact and clarification 9:51 AM PST /September 24, 2017
2:40pm Pacific Standard Time, written far from the prairie
of my youth...for my Father, I love him still
August 27, would've been
nearly the 60th anniversary
had they stayed married...but that's
only possible in my weird and distant
twilight imagination
of my parents

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