Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

To the Parent I Hardly Knew

Note: This poem was my first post on this blog. I'm reposting it because it is as true today as it was 18 months ago, especially since today is this parent's 80th birthday. I've changed the ending a bit due to changed circumstances.

I have a few memories
as a child—your letting go
of my bike seat, not letting me know,
letting me think you were there
holding me up, while all along
I was on my own,
like I would soon be.
And you buying me the gray
stuffed poodle for my birthday,
the one I left outside in the rain,
ruining it—I remember peering
through the window, seeing it
in the far corner of the yard,
just like I had first spied it
through the window of the drugstore,
on that first visitation weekend
we would have after the divorce.
One of the few we would have,
for it was that same year you would
say goodbye, telling me you were
moving to another state and you
wouldn’t see me much—little
did we know that would be the
last time, until I was grown.
Even then, the visits were short, just
a few days in the summer—hardly
enough to rebuild a relationship
broken by years of silence,
that have now turned into months
we don’t speak, and years
we don’t see each other, again.
So now it is time for me
to truly forgive you,
time for me, at last, to let you go—
the parent I hardly knew.

©2008 Al-Anon Lifer

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At Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:07:00 AM, Anonymous Catherine said...

This is a really wonderful piece. So many adult should forgive their parents, myself included. Thanks for sharing it.


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