Jonathon's Closet

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On my father's death

This is my entry into the Wednesday writing contest at the "Finding Joy in the Morning" blog:

This is my contest entry in 2 parts, an introduction and the poem which follows the "I am" format. 2 parts because the intro is a necessary part of who I am.

age 13

intro to my poem:

I remember clearly how she looked
Empty, terrified, broken.
I crumble
I fall

No one knows how I feel inside
As we try to rebuild our lives
I tumble
I crawl

No one tries to understand
They pretend my pain doesn’t exist
I crumple
The gall

I long to return to the safety of her lap
But I am bigger than her now
I fumble
I bawl

Life is harder than you can imagine
I don’t know how to be a man
I grumble
I brawl

Working hard to do what’s right
She says he would be proud of me
Be humble
Stand tall

Today surrounded by a world
Filled with fathers and sons
I stumble
I’m small

my poem:

Yes I am from pain, from despair, from loss.
I am from the knowledge that safety and security can be gone in an instant.
I am from the earth itself, from the God who created our planet, and the wonder and joy of it all. I am from love and understanding, from my mother Kate and and my father Don,
from the love they shared before fate ripped him away from us,
and those who generations before them arrived penniless at Ellis Island.
I am from compassion and giving, from The Boy Scout Law and The Golden Rule.
I am from a confusing God who feeds my soul then strips me of all that I am, leaving me cold, naked, and starving.
I am from summers spent hiking the Appalachian Trail
and winters spent in the glittering lights of the Plaza in Kansas City.
I'm from Cornwall, England and the Black Forest region of Germany,
from Pasties crafted into the perfect pocket meal and Lebkuchen, the perfect taste of Christmas. I am from my Aunt, who didn't come to my Dad's funeral because she "hates dead people",
from my Grandma with her heart of ice and her non-existent soul and from my now-gone Grandpa and his big booming voice and police badge and heart of marshmallow fluff.
I am from scrapbooks filled with photographs, Bibles filled with pressed flowers, and boxes filled with pocket watches and memories of a life now ended. I am from the golden voice of my father and the musical talents of my mother, from a love of nature that runs so deep it's indescribable, and from a love of life that can only be born from the knowledge that at any moment it can all be ripped away. I am from good and bad, love and despair, anger and understanding - I am a child of God and a child of fate. I am still just a child.


  • Excellent writing. I've just passed the one year mark of my own father's passing. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    By Blogger Leni, at 6:33 AM  

  • My heart is very touched as I read this. You share words as most kids can't - and you experienced what most kids don't. I am so sorry for the death of your dad. Hold on to Jesus. He is the Father to the fatherless.

    Thank you for writing for this contest.

    By Blogger Loni, at 9:10 PM  

  • Jonathon, that is so beautiful! My heart aches for you!

    By Blogger Chaos Mommy, at 10:44 PM  

  • This is one of the most poignant beautiful poems I have ever read. I hope the despair that inspired it can be a source of comfort as well. You are a special young man.

    By Blogger G, at 4:42 PM  

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