Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers' Day: To the Unknown Dad

It's Father's Day today and I thought I would let you know
that although you do not know me, my name is Joe.
Our teacher asked us to make a Father's Day card
But some of us found that really, really hard.

Gary said that his dad is very very ill. He won't be able to be with him 'cause he's in a ward.
Nancy was looking very sad, she said she really missed her dad, but he's gone to Baghdad.
Will said his Dad had left him and that there was no point in writing cards and saying 'I love you.'
when he knows it isn't true.

Sally's mum and dad are getting a divorce and she will be living with her mum, of course.
Andy went all quiet as he looked at his page and drew –
I couldn't make out what he was drawing but it all was done in blue.
Ann told the teacher that her dad had gone away, but where he's gone she told us, her mummy would not say.

Well, I'm Joe, and I don't know, who this daddy is...You see, he was gone before I was born.
He couldn't stick around. I've tried to understand it, but I'm feeling very torn.
It's hard at school when children say, that their daddy did this or that. I want to say Don't boast,
but why should they not talk about that which means to them, the most.

Who are you, my daddy, what are you doing now?
Do you ever wonder about your little child?
What kind of person are you, what do you do for fun?
Have you got any other children, or am I the only one?

Daddy I want you to know that I have uncles (and aunties) who're kind.
Who take me out and play with me and listen to my stories. Hope you do not mind.
I'd like to mail this card to you, but don't know where to send it –
maybe I'll just post it on the Internet!

John Blog (Father's Day 2009)

These words came to me this morning when I was listening this morning to the radio, and heard them talking about Father's Day. I must apologise for the heaviness of this poem. It is not bright and breezy - and it doesn't have a happy ending. I want you to know that I am NOT anti-fatherhood, and I myself am VERY GRATEFUL FOR MY OWN FATHER. I would also like to acknowledge that just because a couple divorce, it does not necessarily mean that the children lose touch with their dads and now with the advent of joint custody, divorced fathers are not necessarily absent fathers. Also - it must be NOTED that not all absent dads are absent by choice.

I sent a version of this poem out to some people and one friend wrote back to me saying that it made him cry as he remembered that his dad had left him when he was about 8 years old. (I did not know that.) Anyway he made the point that our Father God had fathered him through the years, and it is true that as Christians we refer to God, Our Father - and Jesus taught us to pray to "Our Father."

You will notice that this poem does not have a determinable pattern. This is partly because of the way the poem evolved, but also because it reflects something of Joe's life - disrupted and disorganised.

As usual, I invite comments - and will gladly add anything that is not spam or insulting.