Papa

Papa

A Story by Mari Baptiste
"

Different parents express their love in different ways. Not all parents are affectionate. Some may seem harsh, but it's all a matter of maturity and reading between the lines.

"
Gruel splatters across the floor, once again. 
It had always done so every weekend morning. 
I take a deep breath and smile at him, 
Wiping the oats off his expensive trousers. 
None of this was new to me. 

The tedious effort of scrubbing stains off the carpet, 

Having to sweep shattered bowls and shards of china that his fragile, 
shaky hands had mistakenly dropped, 

Reminding him to put on his spectacles when he read the papers 
Reminding him to take his medication  
Occasionally reminding him who I am. 


All of this, I did not mind.  


I took pleasure in nursing him during my weekly visits 
It brought me joy to help him stand and use his cane around the shrubbery 
How I loved to see that he had enough sunshine for the day! 
How I loved to see him smile with his dentures as he fed the birds in his garden! 

After all, his well-being was more important now. 
That he was alright, was all I cared to know about. 

He isn't perfect; he never was nor will he ever be. 
From his temper to his language,
We've certainly had more than mere misunderstandings. 
But, these things no longer bothered me as they once did during my youth. 



Somehow, with age, I realised that deep down 
Behind the seemingly distant and detached exterior 
Was a father who loved his children dearly 
But simply didn't know how to show it. 

None of which seemed to matter anymore. 
Because all we knew now  
Was that we loved our dear Papa; 

All we knew now  
Was that he loved us just as much. 




© 2017 Mari Baptiste



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Mari, I have similar comments about the engaging way you write. Your profile says 'knack' and maybe that's it.

However, I will suggest a tweak if I may. You conclude that 'we knew now ... he loved us'. I'm ready to accept this was so, but you seem to be building this upon surmise. I think you have an opportunity to talk about the 'non loving' ways he demonstrated his love, e.g. things like working 80 hour weeks to earn enough, mending your toys overnight, watchful eyes when in potentially tricky situations, etc etc. You could add a few lines somewhere around the 'isn't perfect' verse or the 'somehow with age' verse. This would show the reader the 'evidence' to back up your 'with age' realisation of his love. As always when I make these kinds of suggestions, this is my view and you're the writer - he was your father, etc.

The whole dementia thing is a nightmare. My Mum ended up in a nursing home and didn't recognise us when we visited. This poem brings it all back. But you showed more love and kindness than I felt able to; and it shows.

BRs Nigel

Posted 10 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Mari Baptiste

10 Months Ago

Hello, Nigel!

Ah, yes. I see your point there. Hmm, perhaps I was too vague about it... read more



Reviews

This is a great poem indeed. I see divine love and wisdom in this.

Posted 3 Months Ago


This is beautifully written in a way that helps the reader feel the profundity of these everyday visits with simple vivid observations of old age. Since my father was rabidly abusive, it's nice to be able to see this from a different perspective, a point of view I can't share, but I'm interested in understanding. My family does not know how to love & so I very much relate to your message of forgiveness & acceptance, despite these unavoidable shortcomings! (((HUGS))) fondly, Margie

Posted 4 Months Ago


A wonderful story written dear Mara.
"Somehow, with age, I realised that deep down
Behind the seemingly distant and detached exterior
Was a father who loved his children dearly
But simply didn't know how to show it. "
The above lines I understood after I went to war and I made mistakes. Life isn't easy. I loved the complete poem. Thank you for sharing the amazing story and your thoughts.
Coyote


Posted 4 Months Ago


The poem flows well, and the meaning of the poem is easily understood. Great read!

Posted 10 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mari, I have similar comments about the engaging way you write. Your profile says 'knack' and maybe that's it.

However, I will suggest a tweak if I may. You conclude that 'we knew now ... he loved us'. I'm ready to accept this was so, but you seem to be building this upon surmise. I think you have an opportunity to talk about the 'non loving' ways he demonstrated his love, e.g. things like working 80 hour weeks to earn enough, mending your toys overnight, watchful eyes when in potentially tricky situations, etc etc. You could add a few lines somewhere around the 'isn't perfect' verse or the 'somehow with age' verse. This would show the reader the 'evidence' to back up your 'with age' realisation of his love. As always when I make these kinds of suggestions, this is my view and you're the writer - he was your father, etc.

The whole dementia thing is a nightmare. My Mum ended up in a nursing home and didn't recognise us when we visited. This poem brings it all back. But you showed more love and kindness than I felt able to; and it shows.

BRs Nigel

Posted 10 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Mari Baptiste

10 Months Ago

Hello, Nigel!

Ah, yes. I see your point there. Hmm, perhaps I was too vague about it... read more

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Added on August 19, 2017
Last Updated on August 19, 2017
Tags: Fathers, Family

Author

Mari Baptiste
Mari Baptiste

Manila



About
I discovered my passion for writing a little bit later compared to other writers my age. Most of them start at around 13 or 14. I only started at 17. My teachers told me that I had a knack for writing.. more..

Writing

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