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A Father Mourns

My baby, daddy misses you
It is crazily lonely here
I swim in a big bad dream

Nothing I have to hold on to
My little finger hangs abandoned
By your sweet little fingers

My voice is hoarse of late
Your cradle being empty
Haven’t sung a lullaby, since

Where is the chirping bird?
I see nothing as pure as you
That glow in your pink cheeks

It is cold by day and by night
Come kiss my old beard
And hug me, hug me really tight

Summer’s pretty flowers wilted
I cared not a little bit, because
None of them can grace your hair

Reprimand me sometimes, please
For my drunken breath, with
Your adorable, wrinkling nose

I want to sleep, tired I am
But my chin won’t rest at all
So used to your tender curls

The child in me has vanished
With the light that left your eyes
Peace is nowhere in sight

I wished to catch the snowflakes
Just for you my dear, this winter
Delighting in your merry squeals

But here I find myself so numb
So hopeless, kneeling down
Brushing ice off your poor grave…

ManCrying

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Story – The Jigsaw Puzzle

It was a bright day. As she looked out of her first floor apartment window, Meredith saw little children bounding across the grass. The park was buzzing with activity. Some kids were chasing each other, shouting and laughing. Some tiny tots claimed the swings and were begging to be pushed higher, and squealing in thrill once their wishes were granted.

Meredith turned away and looked at the clock. It was already half past ten, time to get dressed and head to work. She showered, half-heartedly humming a song that had wonderful lyrics she could not remember clearly. Breakfast – brunch, rather – was quick, a warm loaf of bread and orange juice. She would grab some coffee on her way. She wondered how many cups she consumed in a day. She could not remember that, either. Who cared, anyway, as long as she made it through the day?

Grabbing her bag and keys, she stepped out into the sunlight. And stopped in her tracks. On this bright, sunny day, when the kids were busy making merry, one little girl stood out. She was lying on her stomach, crayons scratching across a notebook. Her left hand covered one corner of a page, shielding it from the wind, and her brows were frowning in concentration. She looked up at the other children, looked back into her notebook, and drew.

Meredith didn’t understand why, but something about the child triggered her curiosity. She walked up to the girl, and peered into her book. It snapped shut. “I’m sorry dear, but it looked like you were drawing something very nice. Mind if I look?” “Umm, I guess not”, came the answer.

She was looking at an illustration of a girl on a swing, hair flying, pushed by a laughing woman. “That your mother, dear?” “Yes, but she isn’t here”. “Oh, where is she then?”  “‘Up there’, says dad”. Meredith swallowed. Her eyes closed momentarily, and she tried to block out a vision of her own little girl, found drowned in the pool that horrible afternoon. How many times had she looked up at the skies, thinking “She’s up there”?

She opened her eyes slowly to see the girl looking sweetly at her. “You look a lot like my mom; may I hold your hand and walk?”  “Of course, sweetheart, of course”.

They walked together for a few minutes around the park. The little girl, Mary, was sounding increasingly chirpy as she talked about herself and her school and her dreams and her dollhouse. Meredith smiled; the girl’s cheerful spirits had infected her to an extent by now.

“My dad sits by the lake, writing. He doesn’t smile a lot these days. He only buys me dolls and candy and talks softly to me. He too writes to mom I guess”. “Alright then, let’s go to him”.

Meredith gently pressed soft curls in place beneath the coloured hairband and walked with Mary. As they neared the lake, she saw the man sitting against a tree, writing furiously. She remembered someone else who had that habit. Oh, the memories of teenage crushes. She let herself recall the intense eyes and the notebooks he carried. How he never smiled, but wrote stuff that made the hardest soul melt. Sigh, those were the days, long forgotten as she graduated and allowed herself to be brainwashed into a carefully planned marriage by zealous parents. The man was a good catch, they said, but nobody warned her of consequent despair. Obviously the marriage failed. And here she was, grieving over an infant daughter, divorced from an indifferent husband, watching herself grow older and lonelier…

The man looked up. “Dad, see whom I brought along!” There was a moment of silence, broken only by her hammering heart as intense eyes pierced her soul. The hair was messed up, just the way it used to be. And the frown…She bit her lip and stepped forward, feeling that somewhere, somehow, a jigsaw puzzle was being completed.

Family

A Mother’s Joy

Words fail me,
As I gasp in delight
At how very cute you are
Arresting my heart
In seconds, oh
I am star-struck.

Hopping, running,
You frogmarch me,
Shaking my hand urgently
Spinning me round
Round and round
And tell me things

I not only hear you, but
Also feel to the core
A joy in my heart
At the way you hand me
Your treasured happiness

Like I am the only one
In the world
Worth sharing it with

No filters, no doubts,
Your soul is crystal clear
And I can see
Those eyes, they
Smile away at me.

A charming prospect
You make, with
Your sweaty face
In radiant hues
Like the glowing sun
Framed by messy hair
Damp with scent
I will love you
All my life.

Freeze this moment
Shine some more
Spin me round and round
Tell me those
Little stories again
In your innocent glee

Talk in parrot-abandon
Of all accomplishments
Like squirrel-spotting
Crayon artwork
Collected berries
And lost puppies.

Enchant me with
The crazy characters
That only a child can be
Make those gestures
Show me the trees
Mimic the buzzing
Of busy bees

How happy I am, child
To be in your world
Involved, welcomed,
Trusted, and loved

Spread your arms, honey
Spin me round again
I can never ever tire of this!
But if you want to play
In the dust once more
Sure you can, just
Kiss my cheek and run off,
And come back real soon.

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