Linda Marie Van Tassell (Lynchburg, Virginia)
Save mine eyes from the sight.
I have sought thee for nineteen years;
and hence, have found thee.
I grasp thee to my bosom e'er so tight,
leaving no space for my yielding tears.
Thusly, you have sorrowed me.
Unwavering is mine love for you.
My father, you art all that I have cherished.
Every moment of time is yours, not mine!
Tears now mount the horizon and bedew
your cold heart which has perished...
entwined, the two combine.
O God! Save mine heart of its woe.
I knew not that in seeking thee
that I would discover thus your grave!
How cruel to announce me your daughter; and lo!
take leave of me.
Save mine heart, o save!
How flagrant of you, father, to refrain
my love for another by claiming it as your own.
You never released me to leave.
So vigilantly, you have held me captive again
and again, until time has left me alone
with the misery that love leads me to believe.
So inanely blind to your mirage of fatherdom,
afield into distant meadows I have been led;
and into the depths, I, too, join the grave.
I have enshrined my heart to your complacent kingdom;
and there, to death have bled.
Now, Tis too late to save!
I belie no tears to life for others
nor hunger for the care in their rue.
I have always and only desired your love.
I loathe the false haven of my mother's
so-called love; yet, Tis a love only in lieu
of what can be acquired after your ascent above.
How is it the world can bridge love and hate
and sift the sorrows left and right
and delve into the soul's endless domain?
Repentance for nothing done by mine hand, at any rate,
has led me to the stronghold which may or might
withstand the chastisement you ordain.
I brought thee flowers, father, and lay
them in front the tombstone etched with your name -
the one with the angel singing your way to bliss.
I shed a few tears that sear their way
into the core of my heart, from whence they came,
and give to you father, a tender-fostered kiss.
I surmise we foresee ourselves to death.
Thus, I have been utterly buried in sorrow,
allowing not even the solace of tears.
Father, why did you surrender your vital breath
and leave me invalid to a worse tomorrow
and to an even worse course of years?
All pangs of mine heart are above exceeding;
and to thy tombstone, I am clung.
The heart bursts in two.
My father, your loving rose is bleeding
as the heart is harder wrung.
All this - done for you.
Alas! None listen nor care for me.
Forlorn, I mourn the years without you.
I see the leaves wither aside the rose.
I alone am the gardener of death's valley
and caretaker of sad tidings which grew
still more into chimera, I suppose.
The juncture which joins me to fate -
a fate, and e'er worse than death -
is fondest love darkened in despair.
Do you remember when I needed you late
and called to you with every agonizing breath?
Yet, my father, you were ne'er there.
I am thy daughter! And yet, not even a memory
holds me to thee in deep forgiving sorrow.
I behold only illusions of thee.
Yes! I am thy daughter! A daughter in misery
that shouldst throw aside tomorrow
to be with thee.
Yet, though day is mingling with the winds of night,
though the roses upon the dust combine,
I am yet unable to vaunt that I am vain.
For, all nights shall give way to light,
roses shall life entwine;
and tomorrow, shall awake comforted again.
If thou art my father, then, like my father, appear
before me like the brave soldier I thought you to be.
Even that joy was shattered.
Then, I shouldst rejoice for all to hear.
I shouldst display my blessedness for all to see.
I would disremember all before so-mattered.
For all the sorrow labored past,
I now forsake the tears softly shed.
Desolate, and more still, alone.
This is the bondage which hast
left me not for the dead.
Yet, left me nigh an etched lifeless stone.
I trace the engraved lines unstirred by my lips,
and the tears seep way through the void.
The mounds of earth about me are cold.
I behold the heart as it gently rips
itself from the tombstone, trying to avoid
death, himself, trying to take hold.
The folds of my gown are blown in the breeze
as the night wakens to the moon's chaste light
and the dawn's spent hands are laid to rest.
The weary heart its labors cease
and fades into the night -
where ebon shadows fall ablest.
O Father! I am the one who bears thy name,
like a torch blest divine.
I bow down in speechless grief and weep.
I ask nothing of heaven but that of the same name.
Yes, thou, which art like mine.
O Father! Shall your love e'er I keep?
I pose laughter in the sunlight -
a smile they love to see me wear;
and at night, lament in the shade.
Life is to me no more, by day nor night,
life as I see it here nor there.
It is merely the way I have strayed.
The paths of destiny are myriads of few
and are paved with cunning lies.
O the miles I have travelled and tired.
O Father! The roses dropped lead to you;
resting on a drifted sheet of snowy cries,
though trodden, never expired.
Comments about this poem (My Father by Linda Marie Van Tassell )
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