A Mean Old Man

His response was as cold as his look.

A man’s who expression could say it all.

Mostly cynical and mean.

The warmth of a parent he did not have.

Success on was not congratulated, it was expected.

Fail, and you were ignored.

A beating would’ve been better.

Never seen sympathy in his eyes.

Not a tear, after my mother died.

At her funeral, he kicked everyone out after five and told me to get ready for bed.

I grew to be cold, but not as cold as him.

Growing up alone, and self-reliant.

Left home as soon as I received my diploma.

Didn’t even get a hug.

I was handed an envelope with a few bucks, a handshake and told to work hard.

All he asked of me was to call or write to make sure I was alive.

I got married, he couldn’t make it because he had to work.

He missed a lot of my life due to work hard.

Time and distance drifted us further apart.

Still, I called on his birthday and would write.

I thought more of my mom than my dad.

I would talk more to her dead, than with him alive.

One warm day in San Diego, I got the call.

My father had passed.

I went home to take charge like he would’ve wanted.

His funeral was full of people from work.

Those who probably knew him best.

After all, they spent more time with him.

They came back to the house to pay their respect.

The bitter old man showed his true face.

His co-workers all had stories of me to tell, that my old man had shared.

Moments of my life I had totally forgotten.

They recanted all my achievements, the ones I thought he didn’t care.

I never knew my dad.

They told me how he would cry on the assembly line after my mother died.

He cried for weeks on that line.

He regretted not going to my wedding because he couldn’t bear to be there without his wife.

I tried to be as cold as him and failed my tears.

My wife hugged me as we both cried.

I learned about my father from those guys on the line.

In his nightstand were all my letters and pictures.

The house was full of memories.

Memories which I failed to realize.

Today I buried my father, a man who loved me like no other father could.

Day #34 SJD

Copyright © 2018 Segundo Juan Devora. All Rights Reserved







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