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