Portrait of a Father

I knew a brilliant man, a fatherly man who bookmarked his heart between the lines of alpha, beta, & gamma. He came from a great man, a proud fatherly man who had taught him to feel isn’t man. So he canceled half his mind, reading between lines, from works of Einstein, Thales, Descartes. Lost in a world who’s puzzle he understands – more linear, concise in answers…he was offered a role at 16. Which would have made his proud father even more proud. An offer to be, among professors at a prestigious University, Stanford was calling. The line was ringing. It was during this time, his father’s proud body lowered with the ground he proudly walked & many followed for 46 years. He was a very respectable man. The 16-year-old & his sisters hoped in the stillness, to look towards their mother to just be. But the mother became cold, one they didn’t think could more be so, she bookmarked her heart in a bottle that always ran. But it never filled quite enough to erase the memories. The doors in the children’s bedrooms became shields to the strange men she, had brought home. So one by one, they left to become – something other than to just be.

The brilliant man, shamed all his plans – of sharing his brilliance with the college crowd. Which would’ve made the proud father, no longer a father – more proud. He gave up his camero, to afford becoming a more stable fellow – but in turn, more confusion began. Lost in his anger burying shame, becoming the “alpha” feller. He decided to marry, and fast. It was time, like his father to become a “real man”.
 
His home was intact, though to the proud man the heart wasn’t fact – his mother cold, women alike he would turn them into. He became an angry man, an isolated man, from the fatherly man he once knew. He called this the “alpha”, he despised while he tried them – many women, his heart more lost in the chaos.
 
This brilliant man, placed his mind on a plan – that would continue tucking away all his problems. On the sleeve’s of books, lied linear problems, concise answers, his heart was allowed to remain still. I got to know this man well, more so than my siblings – unfortunately, his motto followed too.
 
He chose a new woman to be my mother, and unfortunately by this point…she was strong yet fractured. Along with her came, my mothers grandmother who was…to also shame me for being a woman. I believe looking back, he agreed with their plan – because now I realize a memory I’ve had. A car ride that took, him handing me a book, and hurting me, while he told me to read.
 
I want to be mad, at times I feel sad – to feel what I do for my dad. But after my childhood, and into adulthood – I’m afraid, that I understand.
 
© Photo by Alison Scarpulla
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