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Beach Walk

Grieving for a father
who was never there.
Missing a man
who couldn’t share
himself in moments
as (I hear) other fathers did.

Already gone before he’s dead
All that we should have said
We cannot now, nor ever.
Dementia snapped the only thread
of a link that never ripened.
He could not do father, nor I son;
both of us too frightened.

I stand and gaze at winter waves,
their foamy sunlit diamonds,
and wonder why I feel such loss.
He was never destined
to stay and care and nurture me;
the child man dad who left me.

I wondered what it was he loved
all those years ago.
Can a son ever know
things a father cannot show?
I walked away and knew it wasn’t me.
Perhaps he wanted to be free.

Beyond the grief; behind the frown;
the hurt and shame,
pushed so deep down,
has long since ceased to matter.
You once were dad and I was son.
All else is only chatter.

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