Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Second Poem About Dad (is now a sorrowful confession)

I've noticed, in my relationships with people (excluding children), that when the shit hits the fan, there are no innocent parties.

In (relationship) wars people are not nice, they are not tame, they are not domesticated. People are in fact wild animals.

People may behave in a civil manner in whatever relationship they are engaged in, but underneath that thin veneer a primitive beast lurks. Nobody wants to talk about this. Nobody wants to personally admit the truth of this or apply it personally to them. People want to present themselves to others as angels or sheep without blemish, but this is not reality.

Me, I have a wild animal in my heart. I harbor a lot of resentment in my body. I hold grudges. I am haunted by past wounds and misinterpretations. I do irrational things. I am impulsive. And I have been cruel to people whom I shouldn’t have been unkind too. I am not beyond blame.

In dealing with the sudden death of my father, the veil between the rational and the irrational has worn thin. The veneer of civility has become peppered with holes. And I have uttered things (on 07152012) that never should have escaped my lips.

This whole experience of being the bad brother and son has reminded me of the Robert Service Poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee:

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Mostly it was the word turmoil, which became moil that reminded me of this poem.

I look forward to the day when the fallout of dad's death settles to the ground. And we who have survived have been able to extract all the radioactivity that has poisoned our flesh so that we can once again be united under the banner of family. Dad often quoted a soviet dictator (whose name escapes me) who wanted to escape the conflict with the west in order to return his people to useful labor.

Yes, dad, we in the family (here still breathing) need to put down our guns, beat them into hoes, and return to useful labor in the garden.

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