1/29/20: Mom and Dad Dropped by Tonight

 

 

#poetry

1/29/20: Mom and Dad Dropped by Tonight

Feeling something

not like mourning

grateful that I’m not alone

loved by Paula right beside me

grateful that my folks went home

they ran their race

they did it well

and loved me so when I was young

and not so young

and middle-aged

and even old

I never felt myself undeserving

as many sad people often do

I always felt that people could love me

secure that someone cared

Far from perfect

with loads of baggage

passed generationally

and changed with the times

but

but

but

where would love be without imperfection

where would it be without the struggle to understand

where would love be if it were just damn easy

nowhere

that’s where love would be.

I always had a place where I could be an asshole

angry

resentful

frustrated

petty

vain and

insecure.

I always had a place where I could heal from my follies

and the blows that came from unloving parts of the world.

They never fully “got” me

my essence was beyond who they were

but that didn’t matter

they always loved me

I was their son

I was their world.

They nursed me back a thousand times

coaxed out my sweetness when it was blocked

Warmth and kindness and generosity are my inheritance

and a fierce commitment to be myself

all they ever wanted from me was me.

They never knew what I was

but they always knew who

and they reminded me of that in my darkest hours.

Their sins against me were all in my mind

they did me wrong a few times

but not on purpose

no one knows everything

people have blind spots

people make mistakes.

They taught me the difference between naivete and malice

It’s not what people say

it’s what’s underneath the words

and every word they ever said to me

translated into “I love you.”

Children live on one-way streets

two directions come with time.

Parents have to die

so the once young can take their turn caring for the young.

I didn’t give up youth without a struggle

and now I am so happy that it is gone.

The childish things have been put away

and I am calm.

I live my life

all its details

and go for days without thinking about my parents

and every once in awhile

when nothing in particular reminds me

that they are gone

and I smile

“The 64 year old orphan”

a joke I tell myself

I’m not sad

I don’t feel loss

all of that is over

I don’t need them anymore

in the flesh

their years of hugs and encouragement and concern

are part of me now

embedded in my very cells

I have no children

the world is my legacy

when I die the part of me that will remain

reverberating in people known and unknown

is the part of me that is my parents

what comes and goes

and who remains.

I don’t need to see their bodies anymore

but what makes me think of them?

Why do they move me tonight?

without a picture

or song

or taste

or smell

to bring them back to me?

I think they drop by

and drop something warm into my chest

and make me feel grateful

to them, sure

but really just in general.

They taught me

eternal well being.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

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