requiem for a sonovabitch

he was born in the late 1930’s
the third of three children
he came after the second one died
petted pampered and spoiled
the only son of Midwestern Bible thumpers
and while they sat in their pews and prayed
he was hiding behind the barn smoking cigarettes
guess their religion never rubbed off on him
he always got his own way
he never really outgrew the feeling
that the world revolved around him
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

i was born in the early 1960’s
the third of four children
not petted pampered nor spoiled
and i came after the first one died
when i think of my father what springs to mind?
Stetson hats and Marlboro cigarettes
and all those other cowboy cliches
the ever present Seagram 7 in his hand
a leather belt and an ugly mouth and a sense of humor
that required my complete humiliation
in order to seem funny
i didn’t have a meaningful conversation
with the man until the day he died
for i never believed he wanted to know
he was unapproachable
his love so fucking unattainable
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

he moved us all South in late 1970
he fell in with the Texas cattlemen
but you can’t blame them for the things he did
his destructive tendencies started way before then
he missed everything that mattered to me
he was never proud of me at least that i could see
he never showed me how to drive a car
never gave a potential lover the third degree
he never read a bedtime story to me
his favorite lines were, you know where we are
and, what we do for one we have to do for all
so he just abandoned us all equally
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

he started leaving when i was about thirteen
he left bit by bit and was as intangible as mist
by the time i was fifteen
he wouldn’t bother with formal goodbyes
and i always wondered why?
what did i do?
wasn’t i his family, too?
i felt my life was not my own
anytime i found a place to fit in
he’d do something thoughtless to knock me out again
and years later when he finally wanted me there
i said, i have my own life now
and now i don’t care
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

he’d never known the real me
not the angry hurting wounded me
certainly not the joyous me
for she had developed a protective habit
of disappearing
from anywhere he might happen to be
he never discussed his life with me
never sure where he was supposed to be
his anger seemed to surge
every time he set eyes on me
what was it about me
what mirrored images did he see?
grant him eternal rest, O Lord

and when his life finally came to a close
he said he saw Jesus in the TV set
i guess he thought that was the best he was ever gonna get
and so he died the peaceful death
that he did not earn
and to this day i still sometimes miss
the selfish old sonovabitch
but i haven’t found forgiveness in my heart yet
as i wander through these days
of cold remorse and slow regret
orphaned and alone to wonder yet
what my requiem will be

requiem for a sonovabitch

greeneyedlady

Joined March 2008

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