Tuesday, February 20, 2007

my father

i have been meaning to get this out for a while...several years ago while in a used bookstore here in seattle (i think it was ravenna thirdplace books) i found a copy of jewel (the singer)'s book of poetry. when i read this poem it struck me as so apt in it's description of my father.

a slow disease
my dad went to vietnam when he was 19 years old. i think it bruised his soul.
there are somethings the human mind should never have to comprehend, somethings the body never can forget he doesn't talk about it. actually, i guess, i've never asked, i hate to imagine his puppy young eyes absorbing all that rain and
mud and blood. the jungles must have seemed like a slow disease that would continue to arrest his and so many other hearts the rest of their lives.

my father sufferes from many ailments these days...but the post tramatic stress comes in part from his 30 year refusal to talk or deal with what happened to him at 19 while he was in vietnam. my brothers and i have suffered with him...as well as my mom most-likely too. my aunts speak of a boy and then young man who was not at all like the man i grew up with. his delight and joy i think were stolen away from him in those jungles on the other side of the world. he like my brothers is a deeply sensitive man and like i believe they would be his sensitive and beautiful soul suffered great harm in having to be involved with the horror of war. sorrow wells up in my chest as i think of all the tender men who have been forced in the name of gender and politics to enter in to battles that their dear hearts cannot survive. will there be a time where we don't need to destroy each other where peace is a live-giving reality?

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