Oh, Dad

(Father’s Day 2020)

 

Hey, Dad

Poor Dad

We’re changing your lifestyle

And we’re feeling really bad

 

It started about five thousand

Years ago,

When fathers learned

They were responsible

For physicality in the home

And something more

That something more kept catching us

Feelings for the children

Dynamics in the group

Be it hunting or the farm or town

Obeisance to the seasons

To leave some art behind

Find something called a god

 

Where were women in all this?

Except for vulnerable times,

I imagine they were hunting, too

Foraging

Protecting the home

Feeding the family dog

Making allowances for the cat

And were left

To home the home

While men were charmed by

Exploration

Or other commissions taking them

Away

 

If you watch Hallmark movies,

You’ll find women are sharp

And adaptive

While men are typically dense

Making five thousand years

Seem not that long ago

You see, outcast Eden laid upon the men

Something by Freud called ego

A promise to break promises

So that the wrong part

Of the spirit might

Be sated

Women have it, too

And sometimes play like men

Though their spirit, good parts and bad,

Have been wounded over ages

Now coming into their own

 

Call it a hundred years ago

Men fought in war

Discovered there was no romance in it

And needed something more

Jobs were lost across the world

There were plagues, too

No provision for the family

The older means, mostly trusted, gone

How does one keep another

On an arid, empty farm

Or in a city walled from caring

About applications?

 

There was dire need

More war

And on the other side of war,

Those not of the millions who were dying

In the outside battles or the inside

Found jobs

Some schooling

Identical homes along the street

Marriage and children, once again

But this time with differences

Our children got some schooling, too

And were well cared for

Relative to depressing times

They got smart

And started asking questions

War had gone underground by then

Undeclared though the dead were just as dead

Bad time to be secret

Sending youth to die

For an abstract against

Really dying

So our asking youth

Receiving no good answers or

Tissued assurances

Began to protest

 

Look around now

Our fathers and our grandfathers

Wouldn’t know the place

Surprisingly primitive in some parts

Even and especially

At home

Sophistication breeding self-interest alone

A time of hate and anger

Fanned by the group that wants

Distraction so secret profits

Will out

 

Lifespan is longer

Healthcare is better

When not strangled by those

Who think it’s fun

To string along the funding

Awareness is more possible

And potent

Though democracy is threatened

By control

Who has it, who wants it

Who might relent not to talk about

But really go after peace

Before the crust is melted of the Earth

By insanity hovered over switches

 

This is your world, Dad

We’re sorry

Be angry, be frightened

Or, better, rest your ego

Allow yourself to love

And be loved

Even in what must seem a maddened place

A paradox to ask for

But here is still where the magic happens

Brought down to Earth by

God in many names

And no name

Who says, go for peace

And don’t neglect to play

When there are pauses

In the action

 

Mom must have her day

But here is a day for father

Here is a day for you

Don’t forget the other day

Remember all the days

 

C L Couch

 

 

Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad: A Pseudoclassical Tragifarce in a Bastard French Tradition

by Arthur Kopit

premiered in 1963

 

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash