Prose - How Many?

It's about a father living apart from his children....

How many years must pass
Before they become a waste?
How many words will I swallow
Before I begin to hate the taste?
How many nights away from home
Before I become replaced?
How many?
How many?

How much anger must I suppress
Before I snap in two?
How many lies must I endure
Before I myself tell a few?
How many times can I turn the other cheek
Before I turn on you?
How many?
How many?

You don’t seem to understand
There’s only so much a man can take
When I’m apart from my flesh
My mind begins to bake
When I’m apart from my blood
My heart begins to break
How many more times
Will you make the same mistake?
How many?
How many?

How much strength must I summon
Before I lose all control?
How much must I endure
Before my blood begins to boil?
How many nights must I spend apart
Before my children’s lives begin to spoil?
How many?
How many?

Our children know
They tell me with their eyes
We share the bond
Of our silent cries
You cannot see
The resentment you sow
One day they will leave you
And then you will know
I do not have to explain
For they understand
I could not stay anymore
I took the ring from my hand
The fear that was present
Left with my tears
One day my children will be with me
Even if it takes years

You don’t seem to understand
There’s only so much a man can take
When I’m apart from my flesh
My mind begins to bake
When I’m apart from my blood
My heart begins to break
How many more times
Will you make the same mistake?
How many?
How many?

How many sleepless nights

Before I deteriorate?
How many missed occasions
Before I start to hate?
How many days
Must I forever wait?
How many?
How many?

All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2011. The Suburban Poet

(PRINTED)

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Comments 12 comments

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Mark, you brought tears to this Saddle's eyes, each word I lived, each word I felt, each word hit like a 10 lb hammmer between my eyes. Your words touched my soul. I live today with the loss of 3 of my 4 children and not one single day goes by that I don't think of them.

I've tried to reach out to them but to no avail. Mark a man or woman's pain over the deliberate loss of their children is agonizing to say the least. To be torn away from your flesh and blood is a huge mistake. No parent deserve this of course unless they are abusive, alcoholic, drug addictive or living a life of crime.

I pray that some day before I die my children will wake up and come to terms with the lies they've been fed and realize that they have an innocent daddy alive and waiting. I fear my friend it will be to late, I am on the other side of sixty now and the sand in my hour glass is moving a little quicker.

Mark this is a sad yet beautiful piece of work you laid out here, it could also be sung as a very sad song. Thank you sir for thinking of me when you wrote this, I pray your relationship with your children is not as strained as mine. Peace and blessings to you and yours. BTW the mark of a true poet is one who can stir his/her reader, you've accomplished this in this scribe, bravo rated way UP....


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Well I sure don't like upsetting you or making you feel sad. I had another piece of wood thrown on the stack of wood that's ready for fire yesterday by their Mom. Luckily the children and I are in good shape as to our personal relationship. I feel my son's frustration with his mother is beginning to mirror mine. I try so hard not to gang up on her with him because it's not right but the things he say's makes me nod my head and say to myself, "I recognize that person. It's the one that made me leave." He's fourteen and will be in college before you know it and I just feel she is running his life so hard that they are going to have a collision like she and I did. Thank you for your comments. I hate to write stuff like this but it had to be said. You know how it is when that thought is in your head and what can we do but post it here. Hang in there. I pray for you and that your children can be reached so they can know their sensitive and loving father.


PenMePretty 5 years ago from Franklin

I relate...know the pain. We just roll it all together in the experiences of life and sort it and sift it at times and add what ingredients we can for the good...then give God plenty of room to make the cake. I think we all have a cake that fell flat in the oven. Always post it, get it out of ya. It really does help. All of our situations are

a little different, a little alike---or maybe a lot.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Hi - this is an extraordinary, and may I say 'beautiful' piece of work. I don't know if 'beautiful' is the right word to use, I can't think of another one. You painted such a profound picture of the suffering of a parent who is not and cannot be where he or she wants to be.

You said to another hubber that you 'hate to write this stuff'. Could I be really rude here and say - you shouldn't hate this at all. It may not feel like it at this time, but work and words like this do help you to cope better. You can always show this piece of work to your son and I'm sure the message will come across just as effectively for him as it does for anyone who reads this wonderful work.

Voted up + awesome.


makusr profile image

makusr 5 years ago from India

The Suburban Poet,

Greetings from MAKUSR. This is a very intense poem. It brings out the bitterness, sadness and anger all in one. Though it looks bit personal yet for the sheer intensity it stands out. IT'S TOO GOOD.

Lots of Love,

MAKUSR


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

Agree with Makusr, 'intensive and thoroughly thought over and deeply felt words'....universal words about human pain and frustration:)...thank you for that my fellow poet:)


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@PenMePretty - It's tough at times. I long for my children but have to manage things the right way so the tension is absent in their lives. The thing that stirs my heart the most is how understanding they are to me. If I miss something they did they always go, "It's ok Daddy... we know you're trying." They are very forgiving and loving and now I'm about to choke up just thinking about it.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Seeker - Thank you. It is VERY gratifying to read your words. It does help me cope. I have very intense feelings at times over the situation but writing about it seems to help me understand myself more. I know I can improve as far as being a father but I have to control the anger.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@makusr - And you sir are TOO KIND. Thank you very much. This is highly personal for me as you can tell and your praise is gratifying.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Beata - Thank you Beata. I feel it is a challenge as a writer to write from a purely empathetic point of view and to do it as if it was your life you are speaking of but clearly when it is your own life the emotion is something that is not imagined but real.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

What can I say? Only that bitterness usually does more harm than good--not only to the hurting adult, but to the children, who truly don't understand until often it is really too late. Hope that's not the case for you; and, saddlerider, don't ever just give up. I cringe for the pain so many like you both have been through, and I'm just very glad that's one thing I never did--deny my children their fathers (only 2--sounds like 10!). Reading this w/tears, I know I've done the right thing to stick to my own standards and not those some others have tried to force on me. Than you for affirming my beliefs.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - You're right about the harm caused by bitterness. It takes a big man (or woman) to not allow it to creep in especially when you truly believe you are not deserving of the treatment. It's tough.... it's the toughest thing I've ever endured; tougher than health issues because it is a daily emotional chore.... If it made you cry I'm sorry but at the same time then I know you share the feelings with me...

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