Poem 19

From the other side of the dad fence.

Don't look at me like that

Like a dog who shrinks away

Terrified at the broken bond

Too timid now to leave if the leash lets loose


Don't look at me like that

I am trying, but my heart is dammed

against an onslaught of unnamable emotions 

If I let one in the whole thing bursts, and son


I never learned to swim


I don't know how to be a father


Where have all our words brought us?


I don't know how to love the way that birds love when they push their children from nests 

and their children fly


I don't know how to pull the best from you without 

turning you into the worst of me

I am afraid you have absorbed the worst of me already


I am afraid


When I first heard you cry I started crying too

Then I was laughing - or both were the same

It all rushed in at once and carried reason away

The river never ceded 

Everything is still afloat

Or submerged

Or both in turn


I don't know how to be a son


I am afraid that we all fail


Know that all I want for you is 

to look into the mirror and not feel shame

Dave Von Bieker

Dave Von Bieker, 11243 85 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T5B 3C6, Canada

Dave Von Bieker lives at the intersection of art, faith, hope and love. He has 2 great kids, a fantastic wife, and a mostly good dog. He plays red guitars and drives red cars.