A Poem: good dad, bad dad




good dad, bad dad

Originally uploaded by M e l o d y

My Dad’s death stirred up so much turmoil for my sisters and me. Processing that, I wrote this poem.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.

I shed no tears today
for the warrior who has fallen.
Taken down by Cancer’s sword.
My heart is full of memories,
good and bad.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.
Constant worry.
Constant change.
Who could have foreseen
the Cancer overtaking his mind;
that became my liberation
in five short months.

The danger —
of loving too much;
needing tenderness,
and all the things Daddy’s are supposed to be.

PAIN. FEAR.
Emotions jangling around me
like some kind of white noise;
pushing their way into my conscious thoughts.
Invaders, threatening to undo
the weak hold I’ve found on a Good Life.
So many memories
good and bad,
bad and good.

Who was he? Why was he MY dad?
MY tormentor.
MY warrior;
Finally broken,
beaten by the cancer
that was to become my friend.

Betrayal,
these thoughts which plague me.
Broken;
the unspoken promise
to keep our secrets to the end.
How do I remember?
How do I stay true and honest,
when the Truth causes an ache
too strong to feel,
to face,
to bear.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.
Who was he in the end?
A demon? A saint?
Now simply a Muse —
remembered, but no longer feared.
Thought of
in furtive,
anxious moments.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.
Who is he to me now?
A man driven to despair
Living a chaotic, frantic life.

Not the Good Life I choose,
Not the legacy I will repeat.

Good Girl. Bad Girl.
Who will I listen to?
Who will I believe?
I am the woman I choose to become
today,
tomorrow.
These are the Good Days
that I can change.
Yesterday is Dead.
Burned in the funeral pyre.
Vapors
Mist
Dust settling around me.

Good Girl. Bad Girl.

Good.

Bad.

Good.

by Melody Hanson, 2004

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