Nupur Saraswat | December 17, 2015
This is the fatherhood poem.
The dad jokes poem.
The Superman and his cape poem.
The lump in your throat and cringe under your skin poem,
When you read that sappy Facebook post that says
“Like and share if your father ever sacrificed his happiness to
Provide for you and your family”
And knowing that you would have shared it
If you hadn’t already blocked him on Facebook.
This is a golf shoes poem.
The shoes my father bought three years ago,
When he finally decided to give the sport a try,
And wore every Sunday afternoon after that.
This is a poem about knowing that those shoes were never meant for golf.
Sure, they were made for it.
But to him, they meant so much more.
Every clunk on the tiled floor was a content, confident step.
They seem to say-
“After 20 years of being a self made man,
My kids can finally have the opportunity of being called ‘spoiled brats’
I can spoil them. I have earned that.
I have earned my Sundays and I have earned these golf shoes.
After 20 years of
Giving, providing, slaving,
Struggling, striving, sacrificing,
You would be mad to think that these shoes are only meant for golf.”
I last saw those shoes two years ago.
And that’s the last time he was seen in the country club.
The last time my father took the weekend off of work.
Two years ago
That’s when his company went under.
There is nothing poetic about being broke.
There is nothing sexy about being broke.
Economic uncertainties make bad poems;
But good life lessons.
“Roses are red
Violets are blue.
My business is going down,
I don’t know what to do.”
See? It’s terrible.
But boy if it doesn’t teach you a thing or two
About reading your father’s forehead creases like a manifesto
Written in a language only those can understand who know what it means to
Overload courses at university because they know
Their father won’t be able to pay another semester’s tuition.
It’s about knowing that crisis may break your father’s stride
But will never touch his spirit.
But hey, this is not a father-buried-in-debt poem,
This is a fatherhood poem.
This is a poem about knowing that Superman doesn’t always have a cape.
Sometimes he has a briefcase, files and a uniform,
He has flaws and hopes for a better future,
He has strength, and children, and so much love in his heart.
Superman can smile and give you a lecture on keeping your room clean
And eating healthy, even on his worst days.
Sometimes Superman has golf shoes in his closet.
Which will be brought out one day,
Dusted and worn again one day.
Because Superman doesn’t give up.
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