The Family's Tree
In Memory of
A king, realising his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. If only sons could see the paradox, they would understand the dilemma.
- Marlene Dietrich
my father moved
— e e cummings
How do we forgive our fathers?
Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often,
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage,
Do we forgive our fathers for marrying,
And shall we forgive them for their excesses
Shall we forgive them
For shutting doors?
Or never speaking?
Do we forgive our fathers in our age or in theirs?
Or in their deaths,
If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
- Dick Lourie
Source: This poem was read during the closing credits of the film Smoke Signals. It was originally published in a longer version titled "Forgiving Our Fathers" in a book of poems titled Ghost Radio. (This information was kindly pointed out to me by Elizabeth Huntington, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
"Hi, Dad, it's me."
"Oh, uh huh! Hi, son! I'll go and get your mother..."
"No, don't get Mum. It's you I want to talk to..."
There's a pause...then...
"Why? Do you need money?"
"No, I don't need money."
The younger man starts on his [somewhat rehearsed but still vulnerable] speech...
"I've just been remembering a lot about you, Dad, and the things you did for me. Working all those years to put me through college, supporting us. My life is going well now and it's because of what you did to get me started. I just thought about it and realised I'd never really said 'Thanks...'"
Silence on the other end of the phone. The son continues, "I want to tell you... Thanks. And that I love you."
"You been drinking??"
Source: Manhood: An Action Plan for Changing Men's Lives by Steve Biddulph
by David Beard
The radio is on,
Source: The Sun August 1992
My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke (1908 - 1963)
The whiskey on your breath
We romped until the pans
The hand that held my wrist
You beat time on my head
Source: The Pocket Book of Modern Verse
Life with Father
by Walter McDonald (b 1934)
Sunday meant sleeping in,
Only the Sunday funnies saved us
at Maggie giving Jiggs
he doted over. At dawn
as if in church,
descending the heavy
Source: Perrine's Literature: Structure Sound and Sense
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