Author Topic: Reflections on Father's Day  (Read 356 times)

indar9

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Reflections on Father's Day
« on: June 22, 2020, 06:31:23 PM »
We drove to the back country,
my brother's place,
traditional father's day barbeque.
He relocated there last year
after our mother died
and his son drank himself to death:
maybe suicide,
we don't know.

This was my brother's first,
motherless, childless.
I still have one daughter left
of the three I birthed.

My brother's house is surrounded
by live oaks.
We sat on the deck
six feet apart in the shade
and talked about the mouse invasion
he is fighting
and those good old rock bands
from the seventies.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 06:33:02 PM by indar9 »

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: Reflections on Father's Day
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2020, 07:40:19 AM »
I liked the last strophe but found the first 2, combined with the title, hard to fathom.

I think that maybe the fact it was fathers' day was incidental and NOT the reason for the visit?

In five years time, a reader would probably wonder why you were sitting six feet apart. They might spend quite some time trying to work out what you are trying to imply by that.

M
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indar9

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Re: Reflections on Father's Day
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2020, 03:59:39 PM »
I hope you are right in your estimate of the amount of time it will take readers to not understand the 6 foot distance. I'm more pessimistic than you.

Writing poems has become something different for me than when I first started out. I was in love with some pretty great poets for years--so much so that I wanted to learn to write like they do. Poetry, to me, is the most direct emotional way of saying something significant and I felt I had a perspective to add to the discourse. I even fantasized getting my own book published. I joined MWC in 2009 and learned a great deal from some of the serious participants there.

But my attitude has changed and, at my age, I accept I won't be flying with the angels--ever. So if I write about current events that most likely will have a short shelf life it's OK with me--it works better than raving about some injustice to my neighbors. Or telling my family history to a therapist which costs way too much money.

Every once in a while I write one that seems worthy of a printed page and I submit a couple to the San Diego Poetry Annual. I manage to get one selected annually. That's enough. And, of course, I post stuff on 3 different forums.

Having said all that, thank you for the read and feedback on this one. But I don't understand why you found the title and first 2 stanzas hard to fathom. Last Sunday was my brother's first father's day after his only son (who had never left home BTW) was found dead from an acute alcoholic episode at the age of 48. I can relate after losing a 2 day old infant and then another daughter from cancer 5 years ago. So we talked about totally unrelated stuff because the subject of a child's death is too painful for barbeque conversation.




Mark Hoffmann

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Re: Reflections on Father's Day
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2020, 05:08:42 PM »
Titles are like signposts. They are the writer saying to the reader: come this way and let me tell you about ...

My expectation was that it would be about the N's father. Most likely memories of a lost father. So with that firmly in my mind, I start the journey. It takes a while and a few readings of S1 to figure out that the N's father is not there and that the fatherhood is not being celebrated by an offspring at all.

This may just be cultural. In the UK mothers' and fathers' days are days where the offspring do something for their parents - take them out, buy them cards or gifts. Me having a fathers' day BBQ to celebrate being a father would not happen.
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

indar9

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Re: Reflections on Father's Day
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 09:35:34 PM »
Thanks for the explanation Mark. Your description of father's and mother's days are the same here as there. Often it is too sentimental. But I felt the title might underline the pain I'm certain my brother was experiencing.