Fatherland [poem]

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The day your music stopped its strongsweet interplay,
a severed cloud was seen to ride the woeful winds of change.
A scream stuck in your throat from primal ages past
came gurgling forth and chilled my soul with sounds of deep.
A hurricane developed and enveloped us.
We stood transfixed within the centre of its eerie eye.
I heard a stillsmall voice which came from underworlds:
it was your guilt-struck father asking, “Why, O why?”

He said:
“My little princess,
if you only knew my pain,
when every time I see you fall in love —
watching you repeat
the same old pattern in your life —
rejecting every sparkle from above.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you;
thus every time you’re with a guy
it all goes wrong,
you lose the song.
But, little girl,
it’s time for you to move along
and be the one who you were
meant to be”.

Then within the shadows I heard some frantic sobs.
I wasn’t sure if they were yours or his or maybe both.
I could have sworn I saw your arms reach out around his chest:
“Daddy, darling” (whispered words) “I came to loathe myself”.
“Because you were not there for me, I always searched
to see your face in any other face which came my way.
But every time I thought I’d found a man to take your place —
smitten by love — I felt I had to run away”.

“No more, my angel”
said her dad.
“You have to know
how precious you
have always been to me.
It’s just that I could never take
I ran away from painful things;
it wasn’t ever you
who I was running from,
and all the pain I’ve done to you
I wish I could undo”.

Then I saw her look into the centre of his eyes
Her breathing seemed to stop — her angel wings unfurled:
“I’ve waited all these years to hear you rectify the lies
which swirled around your parting from my world”.
They held each other through the day and well into the night.
He found his peace at last through the forgiveness that she gave;
And when the time had come for her to let him gently go,
She straightened out some flowers on his bare, neglected grave.

She turned to me
her eyes aglow
the patterns of the past
the webs of history’s hurts
No more to think
what could have been;
for now, at last, we
(she and me)
could then begin.

© Alan Morrison, 2015

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