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Love Poem for Papa


Amber E. Scott

Papa, I was born too late
to know you the right way. Born
sitting in a mobile home on linoleum floors,
mesmerized by colour screen, crunching
candy-shelled Chiclets, wanting to grow up
a Barker's Beauty.

No tears in '61, my mother just eleven years old.
I imagine her hearing but not understanding;
the sorrow in her parents' eyes. Hard workers,
they understood war and hardship and
dust; they would have liked you, Papa,
bellied up to the bar with you for a drink.

No knowledge yet of me,
mild adolescence and tall bangs.
Biting through you in big chunks in university,
desperate to digest, but too soft and too
happy to understand. Only now, only after
love and lost dreams able to nibble,
sip, sentence by sentence, to drink and become
an uplifted, maudlin drunk.

Wondering now if you could ever have imagined
so many plastic children, and chick lit;
I'm sorry, Papa, sorry I didn't know
the smell of mud mixed with blood and gunpowder
or the sight of blue Spanish sky.
I was born too late to know you the right way.

But love does not need knowing.
So I will read and love and try to forget
I had to type you into the internet
to learn 1961.

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