A word for fathers at Christmas
AT this time of year, much celebration is made of mother and child and the relationship therein; fatherhood on the other hand can be a much more muted affair. A recent night of festivities saw my mother recite a poem of her own composition. It is a piece that is centered around a relationship that should be talked about more. Her words reminded me just how powerfully inherent a father’s presence is in the life of his child but equally it reminded me how very lonesome the void is, left behind by his absence.
My mother lost her own father at a very young age and though she says the poem is not strictly auto-biographical I trust her insight is pure. Father Christmas has played a blinder in recent days and so too I imagine have Daddies everywhere. So for all the fathers out there, alive or dead, present or absent, this is for you:
DADDY BY CORA REIDY
“Four years old, no daddy bold to throw her in the air, to buy her dolls and spinning tops and ribbons for her hair; No Daddy’s knee to climb upon When tears come tumbling down No manly smile to cheer her up
And take away her frown. A silent secret longing Keeps its vigil in her heart And no one knows the sadness That’s behind her little laugh; All little kids have fathers That’s as plain as it could be Though some are grumpy, some are cross Any kind would do you see To meet her after school some day So all the girls would know She has a daddy just like them But that cannot be so. He won’t be there as she grows up All through the teenage years To tell about her romance And listen to his jealous fears To wear his best pullover When some night his back is turned To weadle money with a smile Joke with, with toast is burned; And when her big day comes along In cloud of white and pearl She misses him then most of all Though she’s never been his girl