How do we forgive our fathers?
Maybe in a dream?
Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often,
or forever, when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage,
or making us nervous, because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.
Do we forgive our fathers for marrying ... or not marrying ... our mothers,
or divorcing ... or not divorcing ... our mothers?
And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth, or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning?
For shutting doors?
or speaking through walls?
or never speaking?
or never being silent?
Do we forgive our fathers in our age?
or in theirs?
or in their deaths, saying it to them?
or not saying it?
If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
I learned afterwards that this poem was adapted from a Dick Laurie poem.