Description: "What Is And What Should Never Be"
-- Led Zepplin
My Dream, My Nightmare -------------------------------------------
I was dreaming...
“.....I remember as a little girl
I would hold tight to my father’s arm
And he would swing me up high in the air
Although I would be screaming with glee
I could still hear his deep chuckles….”
I wonder what it would have felt like to be precious to my parents
and to have felt cherished by them.
I wonder what it would have felt like to have their approval and respect as a child
and an adult
like I the respect I have shown my son.
I wonder what it would have been like to learn to trust
because I was shown their affection
instead of being called a spoiled wretch.
I wonder what it would have been like
if they had known how to meet my needs and make me feel safe and secure
instead of the priority being to run the home efficiently, like a hospital ward
and with the type of authority of a Captain of a ship
Dad at the table trying to read the paper
while I paced back and forth
in my silken gown and upswept hair.
The doorbell rang and I jumped.
Amused, he looked over the top of his glasses.
I was wringing my hands
and looked at him silently with pleading eyes.
He looked back with understanding in his.
Getting up, he offered his arm.
I curled mine around his as he patted my hand.
Suddenly confident, I walked into the living room.
My date looked at those strong arms
and this time Dad’s look was a stern one
over the top of his glasses,
I was home before curfew that night…..”
I wonder what it’s like to have your father happy to have you in his home
so he can protect you from your husband that beat you up as you held your baby
instead of, in a moment of needing his comfort and confiding in him about being beaten
he walked away saying, “I don’t want to hear about that.”
I wonder how a father could call his daughter an interloper for moving into his house
when she’s a beaten, broke, single mother with nowhere else to go
except maybe the Battered Women’s Shelters she checked out in California
“…..White satin and lace at the church doors.
We stood silently side by side.
I expected to be holding tightly to my father’s arm
but what I didn’t expect was how tightly he held mine.
We exchanged glances as the music started
and I brushed away the tear that was more determined to fall
than my father was determined to hold back.
The tear won that battle……….”
I wonder how, when I was working for an aerospace company and was excited about this
because I’m into Astronomy
I joked with my father that maybe I will meet a handsome astronaut to marry
and he said, “A man like that would never want you. He wants someone educated and intelligent.”
".....He’s old now
And it’s my arm that’s the strong one
Holding him up as we sneak down the hall
And escape down the walkway to the pond
Sometimes we talk about everything
Sometimes we don’t talk at all
Just happy to be together....."
This day will come.
When he’s old and infirm
or maybe he’ll pass on before that time.
I won’t have happy memories to cry about
or reason to miss him.
I’ll just be relieved that there’s no way he can hurt me anymore.
I’ve struggled with letting go in the course of my lifetime.
But when it comes to my father
It will be no struggle at all.
"......We walk back to his room
And I tuck him into bed
I tell him I’ll stay until he falls asleep
So I hold onto my father’s arm until he drifts off
I find I’ve been staying longer and longer after he falls asleep
Because I don’t want to let go of
My father’s arm.........”
Wow, that was very touching. I also find myself unwilling to let go of things that I realize I eventually might have to let go. My father was there for me too since I was young, and there were two years when I didn't see him or talk to him in person, and I missed him terribly. I was really happy when he was back. I find that he really understood me.
Well, I'm just rambling now. Your poem really got me thinking, I liked it very much.