14 June 2015

Sperm Aside

File:Nuevas aficiones (7984692236).jpg
"Nuevas aficiones" by Andrés Nieto Porras(Palma de Mallorca, España)

Ask me about father and I will describe nearness
before dearness, nurture before ownership, maleness
more than femaleness and kindness more than punishment.

Babbling pa-pa, ba-ba, chi-chi comes from the mouth’s
shape and the delight of a nearby perhaps adult—
not linguistic nor biological relations.

Everything else is questionable, though culture
affects the luck of the draw more than we imagine:
Role expectations can oppress or free all genders.

List the roles that must be carried out to raise children
and discover that—though all are necessary—it
matters not at all which gender takes which of the chores.

But names still matter: Publicly the titles “Mom”
and “Dad” raise questions when they don't correspond to type.
Sperm aside, it's appearances that torment bullies—

Bullies that seek to punish in others the love that
they lack in their own role-bound and disappointed lives:
nearness, dearness, nurture, and male-slash-female kindness. 

Posted at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads'

The Tuesday Platform

I've been thinking about fathers a lot because in the USA, Father's Day nears and because my Poets United prompt for next midweek uses Father as a motif.  My own Dad turns 90 on June 22 right after Father's Day, and so we honor him twice.  He's one of the better dads, both unselfish and kind, though he maintains the role distinctions of his generation.  Mom and he are easy with that, having been married for nearly 70 years.  It is easy to love and to understand him, and he returns that love. (Truthfully, this may not be a poem but an essay for my other blog.)  

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast


Sherry Blue Sky said...

I most love what you wrote about the inner pain that makes bullies pick on others......so true. Kind fathers are such a gift to their children. I like, also, that it makes no difference whether its mom or dad who does whichever chores......but it does make such a difference when a child has both parents in his life in a positive way. What a world it would be, if this was more common.

annell4 said...

You are very lucky to still have your Father...I wish I still had mine.

Lolamouse said...

Poem or essay, it's beautiful and a loving tribute to your father. Yes, our society gets so caught up in gender roles that everyone suffers.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

A wonderful tribute to your loving father :D

brudberg said...

I think indeed that there are very little things in bringing up children that has to do with gender. There are occasions when society put templates on top of gender of what can be done or not. Here in Sweden parental leave is actually taken out by many fathers..

Kerry O'Connor said...

I so enjoyed the exposition of the opening stanzas as you trace the bond between father and his child - certainly different from mothering yet an equally important relationship in any person's life. I congratulate your dear father on this milestone year and wish you the many blessings of aged parents.

Gillena Cox said...

Happy you can write such endearments about your father

Much love...

Unknown said...

i think any time thoughts and memories are transferred from the soul into words, poetry is created. Well done :)

Unknown said...

\An ease of relationship and connection resonate within these lines.

rallentanda said...

You are blessed to still have your father with you . To my mind he is what a father should represent and I can fairly confidently say that I bet he did not read many modern day books on parenting:) I know we live in an increasingly gender merging driven society but I still hold dinosaur views ,favouring a difference factor between a mother and a father and a male and a female.

Anonymous said...

A fair and sober assessment of the good father. I would change "tease" to "torment" in penultimate stanza.

Marian said...

Married nearly 70 years, that is tremendous. This seems like a work-in-progress somehow and I look forward to reading what comes out of it.

Susan said...

I took your advice. Thank you!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Yes, I've been getting the idea it must be Father's Day in the US about now, as various poets turn their thoughts that way. (In Oz it's not until September.) I'm glad you had, and have, a nice Dad.

C.C. said...

You had me at the first line :-)

Outlawyer said...

A super sweet poem. My dad was also one of those kind ones. Congrats. Thanks. k.

Susie Clevenger said...

My father was rather distant emotionally when I was growing up. It wasn't until my mother's illness, Alzheimer's manifested that we really became close. This is a beautiful poem about fatherhood.