Since the writing of this poem, my life has changed so much and all for the better. I know that some will relate to its sadness, but hope none will repeat the dead-end anger that it expresses and learn to “let it go.” I have confronted my Father on many of the issues that I had with him. My strength from and faith in God has made me realize that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and start allowing Jesus to change me. I know that I am, as we all are, a work in progress, but can’t repair if I am standing still. So as difficult as it has been to try again, it has been even more rewarding to find success and learn to work through disappointment. Praise God that my Father and I have since reconciled and he is trying to be an awesome Grandpa to Leila.
Thank you Lord for allowing my heart to repair and for forgiveness to come in.
A Memory for Father’s Day
by: Arman Jonathan Sheffey
I miss the man he was.
I miss the man he could be.
I miss when my life was loved,
cause that’s the way it should be
I miss it…
When I was born a dark child,
I broke from the womb with a smile.
1978, June 6 – gonna reminisce for a while
Back then, me and my kin, kickin’ it in Michigan
Ann Arbor where I got my start –
Had to leave and it broke my heart.
Then Lansing, Ypsilanti, Grand Rapids near my Grampy.
That was when my life was great, and that was when I was 8
Wait, I turned 7 when we moved to the Chi,
my Pops no more apple of my Mom’s eye.
But they tried and failed; and it all got derailed,
when I saw pops on the corner – started to cry.
Wanted to die, why – do we always say goodbye
To the ones we love? Mine had a bag at the stop for the Pace bus.
Picture it all the time,
Cause that was the last time I saw a Dad I’d ever claim.
Don’t know who’s to blame,
but from that day on things were never the same, racking my brain –
To find a purpose – for why I hurt this bad.
What did I do to deserve this, Dad?
I didn’t throw your sh*t out in the street!
I didn’t say, “Pack your sh*t and leave!”
Why do I feel that the pain’s on me,
or are you hurting to? Feeling lonely
inside your soul? Vulnerable?
So build a brick wall and hide behind – find three more and a ceiling.
Put your heart to sleep. NO MORE feeling.
Decorate yourself with a new attitude.
A whole new persona and a whole new mood.
Change your name, or at least what they call you.
Erase the game and forget that they saw you!
NEVER LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN!
Distrust is a must my friend.
Bend, but NEVER break!
Lend, but never let them TAKE!
Cause you need the control to bottle up your soul’s pain,
to open your umbrella that stops the flow of the rain.
Well my Pop’s is alive, but don’t mean sh*t to me.
I barely know the man, so I’ll speak from memory.
He might say, “You should’ve said something!”
Could have, should have, but didn’t
It’s just written – down in my heart and now this pad with this pen.
Yo, Dad, Where you been?
Been so long, you even gettin’ my birthday wrong.
Maybe I’m just trippin’
So to wash the pain that left this stain
I go get the gin and just start sippin’.
Should’ve been different, but wasn’t.
And I guess I should be glad
For what you did to me, Dad,
Out the past, my life would be different.
Even with the strife and the bumps in my livin,
Would have no wife or children.
You know my lil girl, Leila,
The grand-daughter you met for the first time at the
Family reunion year past her birth.
Then you dropped off the face of the earth.
Til she turned 2, when you blew into view,
To buy us some lunch, I held back my punch, and you thought we were cool – You FOOL!
So delusional to think that buying me a drink,
without apology erases a decade plus of misery?
Oh but that was history – water under the bridge.
Well this one’s cracking and I hope you can’t swim,
Like me when I was three,
Almost had me drownin in a pool,
While you chattin wit your boys clownin, actin a fool
Then got the nerve to try and rescue me, – play the role of the hero.
Only knew I was drownin, When they yelled, “Where’s your three year old!”
Guess you always figured I was self sufficient.
Cause I adapted to no attention, became independent.
All the money you ever gave in one hand I could spend it.
The nice watch for Christmas, too hot from your trunk!
Wish I could say your on crack or a drunk,
But damn – NO EXCUSE, for the mental abuse,
That you put me through, how I wish that you knew
Still your clueless, selfish, can’t find where your wealth is,
Your worthless, no purpose and not just on the surface –
And yet sometimes flash me a glimmer
of that man I want to remember
So I’m not done yet, but it’s the final set!
Not much longer can I wait, for you to clean the slate,
Til then you won’t see me, I’ll be just a memory –
Like your face – through the tinted window as the Pace rolled away,
Dad it’s so hard to watch as you slowly fade away.
One day – turned to weeks – to months – to years.
Now we speak at weddings and funerals between tears,
And reunions – where you put me on display,
As your trophy son – but I should just say,
“The father, the teacher, the man I am
Was not molded by you, who struggled to lend a hand!”
Where’s my tuition?
Guess I’ll use my intuition and won’t get wishin’
For somethin’ I won’t get – and no remorse no regret.
Won’t feel pain unless I let –
It in and hold it in til it gets cold.
Like a dream deferred this dream explodes,
But that days’ not here yet –
Fear keeps me here, where I can hide in the words that I write,
But despite – all the pain, anger, and misery
All the times that I waited alone and lonely
For this disguise – you made me phony
But wait this hate still it lives
And breathes life into me day in and out
And inevitably has directed my route,
109 – back home to SoHo
Where the Southern Dutch, become brothers smokin’ dutches,
Like Cheech tryin’ to reach out to what they had.
So I quietly reach out to you Dad.
But guess my pain’s way too subtle,
Cause not once do you give a rebuttal,
Or apologize, or decide
To show the wolf ‘neath the sheep’s disguise.
Why? That question echoes..echoes..
Like your face when I look in the mirror.
It pains to see YOU each day getting clearer!
I can not become that from which I run!
The opposite of you is what I want in my view!
But that ultimately makes me see,
I don’t really miss the man, I miss the memory.