Sunday, September 4, 2011

Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

For GBE 16 Parent or Child this week, I'm sharing not an original poem, but one that has multiple meanings for me.  It is a poem written by Dick Lourie, and was also featured in the closing scene of the movie "Smoke Signals."  If you've never seen the movie I highly recommend it. 

I have yet to forgive my father.

How do we forgive our Fathers?
Maybe in a dream
Do we forgive our Fathers for leaving us too often or forever
when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.
Do we forgive our Fathers for marrying or not marrying our Mothers?
For Divorcing or not divorcing our Mothers?
And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning
for shutting doors
for speaking through walls
or never speaking
or never being silent?
Do we forgive our Fathers in our age or in theirs
or their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it?
If we forgive our Fathers what is left?


Larissa has been on my mind all weekend.  Not that she's ever far away from it, but for some reason she seems more present.  It reminded me of something I wrote in 2009 for a Blogophilia post on Myspace, and thought I'd revisit it.

As I watched the smoke from my cigarette
curl and plume
I thought about her,
I thought about you,
I thought about us
And I realized how everything
is everchanging.
Life is death...
Death is life.
One can't exist without
the other.
One can't exist without
the other.
Then you were beside me
watching me thinking,
watching me watching the smoke from my cigarette
curl and plume,
You asked me “What was going on in there”
as you touched my head.
I said “Do you think she approves?”
“Yes,” you replied
And quietly took my hand in yours.

Copyright Steven Clark 2009