Alive, or: Dead

‘We are teachers to our grandchildren’, a d’Verse prompt

He was supposed to teach
  her math and now 
he fucking won't because he's ~

We? What 'We'? Is this the 
  'We who take being alive 
for granted' or 
  'We who are not to live again 
salute you - No - just 
kidding! We're ~

He was supposed to teach her math!
  He was supposed to 
be here. Today.
  He was supposed to 
wish me a happy birthday.
  He was not 
to be ~

I grew a longer beard after Papa 
  Not shaving 
is a Jewish 
mourning tradition, you know 
(did you?)
And it makes me look
  (Good - because I am!) 
I have some white 
hairs in it; some day 
  they will all be white 
and I hope 
to be 
  buried that way 
    when I am ~

Don't tell me that Papa
is teaching her
  through me. He's not.
He's not teaching 
her math;
  he's not teaching 
  anything - because he's fucking ~

It's my birthday and -
  I'll ~
  I'll ~

The above poem is my take on dโ€™Verseโ€™s ‘travels in the wild’ prompt.

d’Verse gave us a selection of potential titles for our poems, and let us do the rest.

105 thoughts on “Alive, or: Dead”

  1. Meine Kinder
    meine Kindeskinder
    erziehen mich
    haben mich erzogen

    ich gehe seit meiner
    in meiner Seele
    zum Unterricht
    in die Schule

    vor allem mein

    das Versagen
    meiner Mรผtter
    nicht zu denken
    an die Vรคter

    im Bewusstsein
    nicht weil ich
    ein besserer Mensch bin
    tรคglicher Bemรผhung

    Herzliche GrรผรŸe
    Hans Gamma


    ื™ื•ื ื˜ื•ื‘

    ื”ื™ืœื“ื™ื ืฉืœื™
    ื™ืœื“ื™ ื™ืœื“ื™
    ืœื—ื ืš ืื•ืชื™
    ื’ื™ื“ืœ ืื•ืชื™

    ืื ื™ ื”ื•ืœืš ืžืื– ืฉืœื™
    ื‘ื ืฉืžื” ืฉืœื™
    ื‘ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืกืคืจ

    ื‘ืžื™ื•ื—ื“ ืฉืœื™

    ืฉืœ ืื™ืžื ืฉืœื™
    ืœื ืœื—ืฉื•ื‘

    ืœื ื‘ื’ืœืœ ืฉืื ื™ ืื“ื ื˜ื•ื‘ ื™ื•ืชืจ ืžืื‘ื•ืชื™ื™
    ืžืืžืฅ ื™ื•ืžื™ื•ืžื™

    ื›ืœ ื˜ื•ื‘
    ื”ืื ืก ื’ืžื

  2. Happy Birthday Ben! My dad was very good at math too. I didn’t know how special hearing him say happy birthday to me through a saved voicemail would be until I could no longer hear him say those words to me. Even without a voice recording, they are always with us. ๐Ÿ’•

    1. … I am trying to wrap my heart around the idea that “they are always with us” … but, honestly, I am struggling with believing that.

      (sorry to be a downer, Michele ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )

      1. That common phrase may mean different things to different people. For me, it means my departed loved ones are still in my thoughts and memories. Their words come to my mind in unexpected ways or memories of being with them appear. Sometimes the associations and memories are sweet and sometimes they are sad, or a mixture of both. I don’t think your struggle to understand my comment is a downer, just an honest statement/question, it seems.

          1. You are welcome, David. Thank you for writing about your painful loss. Expressing anger about your father’s absence is honest and relatable for many people. The line about having white hairs is poignant. I hope you had happy moments on your birthday, and continue having those. Be well.

  3. I don’t think we ever really accept losing a parent. For me It’s like my father’s gone and I’m angry and upset because he never said anything about not coming back. There’s much to tell him. But he does visit our everyday in some anecdote or another. My children remember or maybe just sense his strange combination of goofiness and kindness and their memories are kept lively with the way we speak of him…of stories that made our lives

    You speak of your father and through that you speak of how much he means to you. God bless

      1. This is my fourth time back to WordPress. I found my way back here to your blog, it gets better every time ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. If only emotions were numbers we could place neatly in order. The best we can do is wait for them to settle into their proper place. And maybe they’re there already, simply reminding us of what’s important.

  5. Happy birthday, David! I hope you have a wonderful celebration. โค

    Very powerfully-written poem. I have experienced grief, but never felt angry at the person who died, although my son reacted with anger to his father's death when he was twelve. He still has moments when he feels that way at thirty.

    I like your beard. ๐Ÿ™‚ More important, I like you for your humor and intelligence. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Cheryl. I won’t lie – I like my beard too ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿป

      I’m not exactly angry at Papa... Although I do wish he had taken care of health better than he did. His health was worse than it could have been otherwise if he had been more diligent.

      But – I’m mostly just angry that he’s gone in general. It’s ridiculous to me – in the sense that it’s inconceivable. It just came out of the blue and then BAM – I no longer have a father. And I’m REALLY upset that my daughter and potential future children will never know him, nor learn from him.

      Both of his parents lived into their 90’s! (he was only 70)

      1. Wow! that is sad! I can certainly understand your frustration!

        My husband died at 45 when my son was twelve and my daughter was 10. We had planned a trip to Russia (where my two youngest children were born) and Israel in lieu of my son’s bar mitzvah. It’s the younger generation who suffer most.

        Take care, David. โค

        1. I completely agree, Cheryl.

          Tell me, if you don’t mind, why were your children born in Russia? Both of my parents left the USSR in ’74, and my wife is originally from Russia – and her family still lives there.

      2. My quadriplegic husband’s grandmother was from Belarus and his grandfather was from Poland. His other grandparents were also Jewish, but I don’t know their ethnic origin, but either Russian or Polish. My husband felt a connection to Russia. He had worked in the First Bush Bush Administration with a lady who started an adoption agency in Russia specializing in disabled kids who were not adoptable in Russia at the time.

        We attended a meeting at the Cosmos Club in DC where this lady, disabled and single, told about adopting a paraplegic five-year-old girl from Russia. (She later adopted a second disabled girl. Both girls grew up to participate in wheelchair events at the Olympic Games in Greece, and one daughter won a medal.) She introduced her new adoption agency.

        After we returned home, we discussed the possibility of adopting a child and decided against it because my husband was disabled and I was over forty. A few minutes later, he asked how I felt about the decision we had made. I told him that I felt a little sad. So we decided to go ahead. We ended up adopting a brother and sister, aged 6 and 4, from Ekaterinburg, Russia. He was a very devoted father for the last seven years of his life.

        There post on on my blog. I will send the info.

        Thank you for your interest. I hope it’s not too much information.

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