October Poem: #1 for DAD

by Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith

Hey! Dad! How long’s it been?

How long’s it been since we’ve talked?

Huh! How long?

And there’s more distance between us

now, than there is time, isn’t there? Dad?

Dad? Can you hear me?

We never did talk much did we? Dad?

Oh yes! In my 40th year, on that hillside

we reached out to one another

you came from over there

I from my meditation

we crossed the void in mutual communication

came to an understanding about Bruce’s needs.

But we didn’t talk about all of it did we Dad?

We really had never talked, had we Dad?

I was 18 when you died. Were murdered!

We hadn’t talked!

We hadn’t talked since I’d smashed your new teeth

with my fist over the breakfast table because

You were hurting mother. We hadn’t talked

Father to Son to Father

in my entire life, had we Dad?

Are you here now? Can you hear me?

Let me tell ya what I remember, Dad!

First though, let me tell ya that I LOVE ya!

But this is what I remember: I must have been three or four

you were ‘punishing’ mom. Beating her around the house.

I remember a central structural wall,

a kitchen, dining and living rooms on one side

a hallway on the other side connecting bedrooms

and bath, you were beating her

up the hallway through the living

room, into the kitchen and back up the hallway.

And this I remember:

 

Bicycling or hitchhiking to bars and card rooms in Port Angeles,

Arcata and Eureka, from the 4th grade into my 11th

and 12th grades, standing, waiting, drinking coke

while you lost your paycheck and your ego.

I remember too: Heart-0-the-Hills Lake, the Elwa River

Agate Beach, Crescent Lake…going to those and

other places with you, but you not being there with me.

I don’t remember conversations.

Was conversation difficult for you Dad?

Particularly with your eldest son,

particularly in the later years,

my high school years? The year you died?

You know, I also remember:

Grandpa Smith, or, that is, relatively little of him

except for the negation His presence generated in

you. Your brother was like that also. Victor, who

feared that Loren, that California cultist, was home to

the funeral to rip off Grandpa’s estate which he had already spent.

Have you had the opportunity to meet any of my

stepfathers, Dad? Bob? Al? Jim?

Curious lot aren’t they? They were all a lot alike

you. You know what I mean. Bruised and

battered egos. Broken by brutally unaware parents, and

war, either directly or indirectly, like your self.

No place to go. No counseling adept enough in those days, or

that could be afforded. I know a bit about that one.

When you’re down and out and there is no Father there for you…

what do you do? You drank, gambled, continued

down, and got yourself murdered. Yeah! I remember that too…

 

I’d just turned 18. Grandpa didn’t care enough to go

after your killer; and frankly, at that time, I

didn’t either. Looking back, it would have made

no difference at all. That guy was down.

That’s what being down, and making the decision

to stay down, can do to a Man.

Yes! That’s the reason I didn’t understand you.

Why did you choose to stay down?

Why were your habits any harder to break than

those of any one else?

Why did you continue to subscribe to your father’s and

your brother’s oppressions.

Tell me! It may help me to throw off my own yokes,

my own limiting foibles.

To set them aside and proceed with my life.

Hey Dad! Talk to me! Its Time Now! For a Talk?

Isn’t it? Hey! Dad! Dad?

Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith – Poetry Contributor & Editor

Qutbuddin Loren Ruh Smith: I’m 75 years old, born in Tacoma, WA and went to high school in Arcata, CA. I served in the US Army, met my first wife and had our first son in France. I started writing poetry in my first college English class in 1961. I’ve published a book called The Path to The Beloved and I have several books ready to publish. I lived in the Sierras in Grass Valley for 30 years before moving to Albuquerque, NM, last year. My book about fathers and sons called This Child and His Tree will be going to the publishers shortly.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.

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