Our Father, In His Own Words

for Tommy Spoonquist

Our father wrote of fear
(Called depression this year).

He believed that we fear death
(A symptom of our first breath),

But that we fear life as well.
(I wonder how he could tell

How others felt about the human condition,
Given his own emotional isolation.)

It was an obvious sign of depression:
He believed that the world shared his impression

That gradually the fear takes over our being,
Blotting out everything until there is nothing.

He lived constantly within a black rain cloud
That wrapped beauty and happiness in a shroud

That would lift if it would only rain.
(Only then might he discharge his pain.)

So without the rain he despaired of,
He sought relief in the undying love

That he proclaimed for our mother
(And then another, and another).

He pursued these loves feeling
That he must cool everything,

That he must become pseudo dead
To evade the crippling dread

Of the pain that he wanted to keep on a shelf,
And about which he'd rather worry by himself.

He would share only joys and happiness
(Without giving a thought to the distress

That life with him would become
As he grew ever more numb).

(All these years later, we are left to wonder
What would have lifted the shroud he lived under,

And where he found the strength to suffer so long
After he had seen everything go so wrong.)