My Dad Died

my dad died one night
when I was 15
the unwanted phone call’s shriek
ripped the night in two
my whole life gushed from the raw wound
pooling red on the floor at my feet
coagulated, then held me fast
sticky like new flypaper
life stopped then and there
when I was 15

Mom, let me sleep!
and sink into darkness
I can never bring him back now
he’s gone on without us
loved his Pall Malls and bread pudding more
life garroted by tar, soot and fat
artful dodgers he welcomed in
they stole what I needed most
and what can I do now?
I’m just a kid

no tears, I’m all dried up
except for pints and fifths
can’t you see my screams?
garbled cries inhaled, full of smoke
gagging on red, blue and yellow lies
out the windowpane, I leap through broken glass,
dreams slashed to shreds, my wrists intact
running madly after him
the dirty secret goal
over before I’ve begun

I’m a runaway train
derailed in the desert night
whimpering where the tracks ended
pummeled and mocked by radio’s unwelcome mirror
do I like the things that life is showing me?
tears of surrender germinated my mother’s prayers
hitchhiking to perdition but driven to hope
I knelt in the light
head bowed
one first step of faith

His willing, wrongful death
long before I was born
forsaken, shouting, It is finished!
light and hope tore the veil
love gushed from every brutal wound
my heart full, as his love flowed over me
cool river, ever fresh like spring
set my feet and soul free
new life the fruit of death
youth now eternal


About billdavisthoughts

From San Diego, CA. I've been a missionary and Bible translator in the Philippines for over 30 years and have travelled as a language learning consultant to 15 countries. I play piano and guitar. I write, read voraciously and love to work on word puzzles. Married for 35 years, we have two daughters and two grandchildren.
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3 Responses to My Dad Died

  1. holly rogers says:

    wow – i love seeing people's heart and soul – thanks for sharing yours with all of us. beautiful.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A very touchy poem for me to read. I enjoyed your powerful words to express your feelings. I don't know how to respond to such a strong emotion. Only God can comfort a person in such a situation.

  3. Bill Davis says:

    Thanks, Holly and Julia… I appreciate that!


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