The River

Poem for the 24 Hour Poetry contest. About my father.


1. The River

Walking along the river, you'd think I'd be the happiest person in the world;
But the water only reminds me of how many tears I cried when they took you away,
And the sounds only remind me of how you used to sing me to sleep when I wasn't tired.
It's been two years since I last saw you, but everything about this stream reminds me
Of the way you used to give me piggyback rides around the house;
And how we'd dance to the music that was on the radio.
Dad, I wish you knew just how much I wish I could love you, but that I can't.
You aren't healthy for me, and I guess that's why the river makes me think of you.
It's dangerous, and unrelenting, and has this selfish way of flowing where it wants,
And it's like a perfect mirror of you, except that it's more beautiful,
And people adore it for how destructive it is. 
They only scorn you for it, and they should,
Because when selfishness goes unpunished, a dam breaks
And everything falls apart.
You aren't good for me, and you never will be.
The way the waters turn up and are disturbed reminds me of how volatile you are,
You got so mad at the littlest things, and lashed out.
So I'm just going to skip rocks on the river
And watch how they skip once and sink into the current,
Because the water isn't smooth enough to skip on,
And it kind of reminds me that things will get better.

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