In My Father’s Arms

In My Father’s Arms

It’s been a long time since you held me–
A little over 30 years.

How long is it supposed to take
For the wounds of childhood to heal?

I still remember leaving New Mexico
as an eleven year old girl
with my stepfather, mother and siblings.

My sleep in the back of our pick-up truck
was disturbed by
A falling bicycle as we passed
the St. Louis Arch.

It’s funny how I remember that,
but I can’t remember you ever holding me.

Except– I know you did.
I have the photographs to prove it.

With your strong arm wrapped around me,
Your large hand entwined with my small one.

Something made me laugh brightly, and you looked
right at my warm, radiant smile.

I wish I could remember what was so funny
and made my eyes sparkle like that.

Laughter was one of the first things that was chased away.
But it’s good to know I was happy in your presence.

I’ve been crying rivers lately­­–
I’ve been told its healing.
But I don’t feel healed.
I just feel raw, electric pain.

I’ve been missing you so fervently lately.
Which is peculiar because I rarely have before.

I think the only other time I missed you this much,
Was the day of my wedding,
Fifteen years ago.

I wanted you to walk me down the aisle,
but I didn’t even know if you were alive.

My mother almost succeeded
in erasing your existence.
But not quite.

I didn’t know it then, but I looked for you everywhere
In the arms of many men.

Each one promised to love me and keep me safe.
And for a little while, they did…
until they didn’t anymore.

But they never could quite fill that need
That I have carried around everywhere with me

The familar aching need
to be back in my father’s arms.



copyright 11/23/2012 Casey and The Sprightly Writer

About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Complex-PTSD, Father Loss, Healing Through the Arts, Poetry, Trauma and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to In My Father’s Arms

  1. Phil says:

    Heartfelt emotions flowing from deep within. Beautiful piece of writing.

  2. Thank you Phil.

    I spoke with my step-mother and my father yesterday, and I decided to publish this piece I wrote a few months ago.

    It’s been an important part of my healing journey to document some of my feelings through art and writing and I am feeling stronger all the time because of it.

  3. Mom Gail says:

    Absolutely Beautiful!! This brought tears to my eyes, and my heart. As soon as I read it I had your daddy read it, and it brought tears to his eyes too. Your dad is a man of few words, but his eyes tell me everything that he’s feeling. He still hurts for all of the years he lost with you. We are both so thankful that the woman that gave birth to you wasn’t successful in erasing his existence. We are both so thankful that you and your family are in our lives. We Love You more than you will ever know

  4. Tell Dad I love him (and you) more and more each day. I know he doesn’t like talking on the phone much, but I totally understand that. He and I say more – and more – meaningful things, than my stepfather and I ever do. I try to avoid my step-dad because I never know when he’s going to criticize me.

    I am proud to be my dad’s daughter, and while the years apart have impacted me in some very deep ways, I understand more now how things were and what happened. I do not blame dad one bit for anything. I have missed him deeply from time to time, but I have never been angry with dad. I know my mother had a great deal to do with why we couldn’t see him anymore. Not one day of my life has been spent being angry with him. I’ve been sad, yes, but never angry with him.

    And tell daddy I think I take after him in many ways, and though we lost a lot of time, we are lucky to have regained our relationship.

    I’m so grateful that we have a good, albeit long-distance relationship now. Better late than never, I say.

    Give daddy a great big hug from his little big girl.

    Love you both!!!!!!!

  5. And please tell dad that this poem was written a little while ago (I can’t remember when so I just put a new date on it), and that I feel much better now. Remember when I called him up and started to cry? Yeah, that was when I wrote the poem. Part of my healing journey is putting down my feelings on paper in poems or in artwork.

    Please tell dad I do feel better now and not to worry about me (too much).


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