Thursday, November 12, 2009

Theme Thursday - Telephone



Token Call


Last time you phoned
was my fortieth birthday,
remember? You asked
if I felt any older.
Your voice was so fine,
but you broke off to say
it was time to go. Okay,
bye. Go ahead, get off the line.
A forty second call
from father to daughter.
Why bother?
One second
for each of my years.
.
.
willow, 2009
.
.
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81 comments:

  1. That is so sad, Willow--I'm sorry you've had to deal with that.

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  2. Someone is missing out on a lovely, talented, sweet daughter! What a loss, what a waste.

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  3. Ouch ...
    Nicely written ...
    No swear words ...
    His loss ...
    You're a great gal ...

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  4. I can empathise with that. My dad moved out of my life when I was sixteen years old and I didn't see him again until I was thirty-two! We have to live with that, don't we! sister.
    Blessings, Star

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  5. I have learned that parents are not always the idols that we need to look up to. At least you know that you are worth way more than that! I know it anyway!

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  6. That really upsets me.
    Let's kick some a.
    Violence is the answer. Yep.

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  7. His loss. You are a fabulous, intelligent and fun person. Too bad he doesn't know that. And I'm sorry Willow. You deserve fabulous parents.
    Do fabulous followers help, a little?

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  8. Have I told you lately that I love you?

    Don't get scared. I just love it when you publish your poetry. Someone's loss is another's gain. So glad you began writing.

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  9. So sad! Maybe someday he'll wake up and realize what he's losing, lost.

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  10. Yes!! Fabulous followers DO help, more than you will ever know, Leslie. I love all you guys so much!! ~xxx

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  11. I feel sorry for both characters in your poem. The father has made a phone call, he must feel something, but is incapable of any depth. I have known quite a few men of a certain age who are completely at a loss about how to communicate with their own children. Of course, the child here is truly the victim. It does make you wonder what happened. Was it always that way?

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  12. Since it had been years since we'd spoken, I was thrilled to hear his voice. But 30 seconds into the call, telling me he had to go, was more torture than if he had never picked up the phone. I melted in tears. It is very sad.

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  13. That's tough Willow. You used your pain to write a powerful poem if that's any consolation. As always your word play is superb.

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  14. Thanks, Stevie. I like to think I channel my feelings into positive creative energy.

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  15. Oh Willow, I am so sad that this is part of your history. I had one like this. It is inexplicable. The hurt is so deep. But I am a better parent because of it. Mine absolutely know I love them. And I have no doubt yours know it beyond measure. Bless you!

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  16. This was so moving, Willow. Isn't it amazing how out of hurt and pain we can often create such beautiful art?..Hugs for you dear cyber friend..and a hot cuppa is always waiting for you.

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  17. Creative play heals broken hearts...this I know. I also know we find our fathers and mothers in others and get second and third chances to love and be loved...I'm not sure I know anymore than that!

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  18. I was 8 when we left a shell of a man. Downed by his own weakness. My mom, sister 6 and myself. It was 3o years before I heard from him again. It has made me a stronger woman, just like you Willow. What doesn't kill you, makes your stronger.
    QMM

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  19. Ooooohhhh, ouch! Great poem, though.

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  20. So much sadness and anger in this terse poem. Very moving. It is so complete -- and yet suggests so much beyond the words.

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  21. Willow...this makes me so sad...may we learn from this...call and chat at length with each of our children until they BEG to hang up after HEARING/KNOWING how cherished they are!

    Cherished like you.

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  22. ...sometimes it is hard for fathers to relate to their children; and talking on the phone isn't always an easy thing to do. Still, sad. BTW, that old typewriter you adore is sitting in my dining room, waiting to be fixed up one of these days...glad you like it. Happy TT

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  23. WOW, nice work. Words can be used as weapons.

    Parents can really suck and if they feel guilty...well then they really suck!

    You've made a good life for yourself. You don't need him.

    much love

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  24. Willow, this is one of the most moving blog posts I've ever read. You've beautifully taken a sad few moments and touched many people.

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  25. you left tears in my eye willow. so sorry.

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  26. Wow. That's really a tragedy, Willow. Your father is the one who's really losing out. What a shame. I'm sorry, you must really feel hurt.
    At least you know how many people really do love and appreciate you and I'm one of them.

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  28. There's a visceral sense of pain in that poem that we all can relate to, Willow. I always tell a friend of mine, who is estranged from her family, that unfortunately, she can't control that, but what she CAN do is to create her OWN sense of family with her own children and husband.

    I was estranged from my own folks at one point when I was younger (I didn't marry a Catholic, God forbid, and they were furious with me and basically disowned me for some time.) I think it's why I have such an unconditional, loving relationship with my own son--I was determined he would know I love the hell out of him! I would never let anything separate us for such infantile reasons.

    You have a huge family among all of us, too, Willow. Big hug.

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  30. He called you - and on your birthday. He cares. Yet, from this painful relationship comes a wonderful mother, who loves and nutures her own children so that they know they are loved.

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  31. Very hard to comment on this, Willow.That it is a good poem is probably of little consolation, that writing it may be cathartic maybe of more ? I really hope so.

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  32. Oh,Willow, what a heavy sadness you carry. Your father must have been an empty person, unable to connect and appreciate life and family. He lost out on life's most precious moments.

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  33. it is good to use your art--in your case-writing-- to help channel your feelings-- art is healing

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  34. Oh dear. I believe that is worse than never having him call at all.

    Sorry you had to experience that...

    Our fathers: thanks for the DNA...

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  35. Hard to comment on something so intense and personal -- but that's what poets do, isn't it -- refine intense personal experience, whether sweet or bitter, into poetry.

    Well done.

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  36. Hard to comment on something so intense and personal -- but that's what poets do, isn't it -- refine intense personal experience, whether sweet or bitter, into poetry.

    Well done.

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  37. willow

    you have touched me as you always do.
    you my dearest willow,
    are much loved.

    just keep doing what your'e doing, and you will keep getting what you are getting.

    the same goes for the old man!

    love xx's

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  38. that is heartbreaking but sadly all too common for various reasons. this gives me chills. I am so sorry. big virtual hugs your way from all of us. I'm glad you have WT and your kids and Betsy as a bond of family around you now. If you were here, we could have a cup of tea and commiserate on various things together.

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  39. Poetry is highly underused in the blogging world. Or so I think.

    This is lovely. Painfully lovely.

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  40. Ouch! Ouch squared. But this so is in tune with Brian's post. I've read a couple this trip that are on the same frequency. You and "B." Otin and Silver Fox. It is interesting all of the memories I've read that this theme has evoked.

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  41. Ouch! Ouch squared! You and Brian's posts are on the same frequency. So are Otin's and Silver Fox's. Who knew such an innocuous thing as a telephone could evoke so much emotion and memory.

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  42. Drive-by phone calls, what's the point?

    Cheers!

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  43. Willow,
    As I grew up, there were things my dad did that affected me badly and as an adult and father I resolved to behave differently; and did. In conversations over a holiday table it becomes evident that there were things I did as a father that my children found "unfriendly" and they resolved to behave differently when they grew up; and they have.
    They have all become wonderful adults.
    My granddaughters will act differently than their parents (in some things) when they grow up.
    It's the way of things.

    Your poem is beautiful in it's sorrow. I offer my ear, my shoulder,(((a Hug))), and a kiss on your rose tinged cheek. It's poor compensation I know but it's all I've got. Oh, and the knowlege that it took me much longer than 40 seconds to type this.
    (I'm a slow typer. ;>)
    rel

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  44. Ouch. But bravo, in seemingly not creating any regrets. -J

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  45. You have the power to move people you have never met and who live a long way away. That is very, very special. Be proud of it.

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  46. Fantastic but bittersweet poem Willow. So many people of that generation just don't know how to express themselves. It's sad, so sad. But... at least he called.

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  47. It is sad the poem says that. It may be something about the era. Neither my dad nor my mom ever kissed me or said they even liked me. There is a lot of sadness in this world and I suspect my childhood has something to do with how I treat my 5 children.

    I just think if you are old, like me, that parents didn't make over their kids as much. I know my folks were in the Depression and never had very much at all.

    I got an orange one year at Christmas and my sister got nothing.

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  48. powerful and a bit sat Willow....

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  49. Sad and very moving. Its his loss, Willow. Hope he realizes before its too late.

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  50. So powerful! Wow, and thank you. Sending love heart to heart, and via the telephone satellites of the internets.

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  51. Sad but some people do not know how to related so they dont.

    Its not just his loss, its everyone's loss .. and I am sorry for you both

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  52. I'm sorry that your father and you don't have a better relationship. That must hurt. As others have said, he's missing out on someone grand.

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  53. A heartfelt hug for you, Willow.

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  54. Oh Willow - how sad - such a beautiful, poignant poem which says so much.

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  55. Willow, sometimes parents just don't know what to say. But he called. Here's a belated birthday hug from me: ((((((((Willow)))))))))

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  56. Hi Willow...your poem made me really sad....the bitterness shows through....my dad was somewhat the same..not many words and some of them pretty harsh...however...when he was dying and I was holding his hand through the hours of the night I knew that he loved me even if he couldn't say so right out...this generation is different..i love you is said daily..i say it to my children every time i speak to them....for my father it was not an easy thing to say...I know exactly how hard it hurts...xxx kay.

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  57. sad, I agree. esp for someone like yourself who loves to communicate. Now, neither of my parents spent very long on phone calls, even on my b-day. Neither of them were much in the way of communicators. they showed their love in other ways.
    Maybe this is why I wrote 5 novels (only 1 published) and reams of stories. I admit that i myself am not a telephoner. Brief, focused messages.

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  58. As a few others have already said, "Ouch."

    I can't even muster up one of my usual wisecracks. This sucks.

    Just keep in mind that there are over 1000 people who do care, and that's just on the internet alone! Lord knows how many people have a special place in their hearts for you in the real world.

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  59. I feel so sorry for your father to be in such pain that he doesn't know how to reach out. I would say sorry to you (and I am sorry that you had to deal with it) but I'm more impressed at your ability to process the phone call and express the feelings so succinctly and vividly in the poem.

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  60. A heartfelt THANK YOU, to all you wonderful bloggies. How did I get through life before all of you came on the scene? I don't know. It's a mystery.

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  61. This is so, so very sad.

    Sometimes, I loathe the telephone - a necessary evil which when I was growing up, was a luxury. So many misunderstandings can occur during a conversation over the phone - a wrong word, the wrong intonation .........

    Your powerful poem is not long but says everything it has to about your pain in those few lines.

    I have always said that it's a very good thing we can choose our friends because unfortunately, we cannot choose our family!

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  62. 40? Surely you jest... I'm thinking 32. The Zhivago hat makes you look 32.

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  63. Oh, Jeff, you sweet talker, you. My 40th was 13 years ago!! Flattery will get you everywhere, my dear.

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  64. So few words, say so much.

    I got a call, the man on the other end said; "Hi Sherry, this is your dad!" I did not recognize the voice on the line, and gave the phone to my husband, I told him that there was a man on the line who claims to be my father. He talked to the man and then told me it really was my father on the line.

    It was my real father, but it was not my "dad". My "dad" was my stepfather who had raised me, this was a man of who I had little memory.

    I did renew my relationship with my birth father, and sadly it would never be the same as it had been when I was a very young child. But at least he was able to be a better grandfather then father. He is gone now.

    Due to this happening in our lives, both of my brothers have turned out to be fantastic fathers and I am thankful that something good can come from somthing so sad.

    I am so sorry that you have had such sad experiences too. It sounds like we are not alone. Some phone calls suck.

    God bless.

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  65. Oh Willow, is this true? That's horrible. If it is, then happy birthday, spend it with those who have all the time in the world for you, clearly there are many and the man is far the worse for not knowing what a great talent and compassionate person you are.

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  66. Oh Willow. I am so very sorry. What a terrible thing, especially on your birthday! I do hope things brightened considerably after that. Know you are loved here in blogdom. Your loyal subjects adore you :)

    Jen

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  67. I never really knew my Dad and it's all a long story (and a lot of poems!). Getting the poems out of it helps... and then doesn't help at the same time. It's a bit of a no-win I think but we do what we can.
    x

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  68. harsh, well-written, succint. excellent.

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  69. :( I'm so sorry, Willow. This reminds me a lot of my fiancees relationship with his father. It breaks my heart for both of you.

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  70. Yes, I though You knew. Renee talks very fondly of you and kept telling me I WOULD LOVE YOUR BLOG.

    I do it's opened up a new life.

    My Aunt winifred was from Sligo Ireland. I got the documents of the ship she came over in. If you get time, check out"Charlie Bowers."
    He was very interesting. A good man. Yvonne

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  71. Once I realized the emotional aloofness of some men (not all men) I began to feel some relief. It sint that they cant feel, they fear it will "panty waist" them. Dont forget your Dad is from another era, when men were "men", etc. That must be as hard on him as it on you. I think sensitivity training and brainwashing only go so far on dad's that go "click" instead os those long goodbyes. He may or may not come round to a basic understanding of the female emotional needs to be nutured. Hopefully the hub is emotional. The Oedipus complex gets..well, ah...complex! Give me the wisdom and courage to change the things I can and leave alone those things (or people) I cannot (paraphrasing here). from the Bible anyway, I know where you are coming from, and wish you well in getting a Golden Pond experience with your Dad. Praying for this!But hey, this is fiction, right? So dont sweat the small stuff! (this is really pretty big, but hey, when life hands ones lemons...?)

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  72. I love your poetry button. I'm not sure how I missed this poem.
    The last time I talked to my father was in 2001, and before that, it had been years.
    Knowing what I now know about him, I am not sure he would have helped shape me into who I am today. But then I guess his absence was equally as powerful.
    My fortieth is coming, and I am quite sure as with every other birthday he won't call.
    I am past the point of caring, and I don't say that in a callous way. I wish him well, and I did back then. I really think I'm okay now. I don't any reasons, none of them would rhyme anyway.
    Thanks for sharing this piece Willow.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)