That's Not Me
I am driving Dad to his appointment
In a city more than two hours from home
They will spend a month watching behavior,
(We realize that he needs a savior
Or for this testing we would never come.)
My father has shown disappointment,
Family feels that we must take him there,
But he's going without really squawking
And time passes without either talking,
Though I am sure that he knows it's not fair.
I am having to make tough decisions
That I really wish were not mine to make
Though my mother is truly quite fragile
(Her power of reason remains agile)
Dad hospitalized for my mother's sake.
My father has been suffering visions
Which aren't in touch with the real world at all,
But after a couple of days have past
It is clear that his confusion won't last,
Still our hopes for recovery are small.
I was home when his last episode struck
Mom was up with him throughout the whole night
'Do I know you? ' he quietly asked her.
'So lucky to have a nice lady care.'
Even in this state his manner was bright.
That I was home when it happened just luck
Mom exhausted by the time I woke up.
'Why do the ceilings here go up and down? '
My dad's puzzled face was sporting a frown.
Horrified tears filled my mom's and my cup.
'Pay yourself first! ' his best lesson for me,
'Think of the man that you'll be tomorrow
'The man who's a man does work that's at hand,
His eyes open for an unplanned demand,
Lest the future be found filled with sorrow.'
My trips home from school had no guarantee
That a holiday mood would be found there,
And though the chores were all finally done
The time we'd spend working was never fun,
And was no treat for him either I swear.
Mom hoped that I'd be some kind of artist
Dad dreamed that I would be an accountant.
But I came to see their fight over me
Was selfish because it left me not free
Respect for my dreams just a nonevent.
I have always known I'm not the smartest
I had friends who were much better in school
It was certainly a tough decision
But confronting parental derision
Proved to me at least I was not a fool.
There's always enough guilt to go around,
There's so little in life that we get free,
Dad aware on some level he's leaving
Uncomfortably says (he is grieving,)
'When bad things happen, Brian, that's not me.'
I watch his tears come and make not a sound,
Like my dad I face life stoically,
With my love for the man hardly showing,
Who to my dying breath I'll be owing,
I must reverently own 'That's not me.'
What can I say? Forgive me Father. Wish I could have been a better son to you. How I wish I could have loved you more.
Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2014
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