When I Write Of Fathers

When I write of fathers
They are usually missing,
In prison, on the lam,
In witness protection –
Not home, to be clear.
They are unseen, yet omnipresent,
Controlling the story’s unfolding,
Like Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

I write about dead fathers –
And fathers that may as well be
Fathers who gave up their children,
Their least valued possessions,
Who wrote themselves out of their child’s life,
And abandoned their leading role in it,
As if it were a bit part, and they were bit players,
Quickly and easily forgotten.

When I write of fathers,
Human, present, and real,
I am not writing about the experience of a
Day-to-day relationship
With a living, loving father.
I don’t write about a father I saw at home
Or met at a friend’s.

I write about fathers
I have seen on the screen
And met in a book,
When I write of fathers.

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