I thought my father was too fat – naively told him so,
if he was offended I recall it didn’t show, or why the
tenor of that seemed a masquerade.
I’m sure he was affronted now – like I, it’s no jibe to
pass off as a jest, no matter who accuses whom or
which confused and sadly taut excuse is a defence.
If I ever envied fathers dressed like kings knowing
how to wear their clothes expressing dreams they
had as imaginary futures for their son’s
I didn’t know my envy. I knew chic and its antonym
indeed, but thinking my father might have taught
me so would induce snorts of laughter.
Now I smile at such melancholy, smile musing the
wheel’s turn, smile and wince to hear you repeat
the words I must have known grated on my Dad.
In those long lost years he never set a goal so high,
target I’d not reach, challenges I could not meet,
he simply kept my feet on solid ground
surely fed my dreams – and neither did he threaten
me, abbreviating crazy schemes a young man has to
have, indeed he taught me well, gave me space to
be the things he patiently, at least to me, was not
– and I grew into the place certainty makes of me
now, and that is, oh yes, your father.
I’m proud of you, unreservedly, glad to say this is
my son. He’s the tall, wiry and kind-of-thin one.
And that, I say to you, is the reason why I’m fat.
© I.D. Carswell