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Wendy Laing

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Books by Wendy Laing
  Father Mine
by Wendy Laing
Sunday, April 29, 2001

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Recent poems by Wendy Laing
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A sequence of thoughts about my 89 year old father, written not long before he died in December 2000

Father Mine

Once brown and muscled, now pale and lean, patterned by rivers of veins.
Eyes often moist, easily reduced to tears.
In younger days, strong striding steps, steady, without fear;
now an unsteady shuffle, with help of stick.
Mind often confused, muddled, forgetful, frightened and dreamy …
‘Did I take my pills? Where did I put them?’
Tired old bladder demanding in waking hours.
‘Darn it’s time for a pee!’

No thoughts of fun. Only happier days when Mum was alive,
then sadness, despair. Thoughts of impending end to life. To sit alone in a room.
Main stay for existence? Two four legged mates, as aged as he, a dog and cat.
Overweight with kindness, displaced it seems, to son and daughter.
The daughter’s me. He’s Father mine!
But he’s not the father that I knew.
He’s wizened, frail, dependent,
or so we think.

In Father mine’s mind, he’s independent.
‘This house is mine! Hell will freeze before I leave!’
We move away in hope he may ask for help that he needs,
and not feel we intend foul deeds!
Whatever happens, ‘tis out of our hands.
His life’s under control of a far higher command … Father Time…
An old man holding a scythe .The image merges into my father holding his stick!

He seems unaware of our worries, that we really do care.
He tries to cover mistakes. Is it fear of discovery, or done by stealth?
No spouse, failing senses, a house far too big, and a body frail.
Unable to do ‘normal’ chores like cleaning, gardening,
Drivers license has been revoked. The list’s endless.
How would I feel? Oh Father Mine,
Damn Father Time!


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Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 5/27/2009
Wow! You really should write more poetry Wendy. This one is wonderful.

Reviewed by Joanna Leone 6/18/2008
This poem is beautiful, and I will be tracking your work. Such a heart warming poem. Stop by my den sometime when you have a chance
Reviewed by John Flanagan 4/28/2008
honest beautiful and cruel truths here
Reviewed by Lin Edwards 6/27/2007
Full of warmth, frustrations, and unending love, this is a really good poem. Having elderly parents of my own, I can relate to it all very well. Thanks. Lin
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 1/19/2007
with my own father approaching the time your words speak of, your poem rang all too true-thanks for writing
Reviewed by Bennett 12/16/2005
The art of expression in this is all you and it is your words and no one elses and that is what makes this so unique and different. You express the way you feel and allow the pen to spill it out.
Reviewed by Gwen Henry (Reader) 11/4/2005
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 2/9/2005
Reviewed by Eddie Thompson 2/11/2004
Wow....amazing write...I loved it.
Reviewed by Anna Marie Fritz (Reader) 12/6/2003
What a touching write, Wendy!
Say, girl, how are you doing these days?
Since I left CDP...I lost touch with
a lot of its past authors.
Being a teacher,you might want to take a peek at my
Greek Mythology piece.
Reviewed by Rebekah Rosie Lang 8/21/2003
What a nice convey of the father and the son. You did excellent work here! There is such a need for ALL sides to be known!
Reviewed by Bonita Quesinberry 7/2/2003
Excellent, excellent in conveying both sides of the coin: the elder and the younger, the parent and child. As an elder, yet once the child, I fully identify with both roles. Continue the good work, Wendy. And, if you have time, you might want to check out an article: "Writers' Seven Deadly Sins" reveals why big publishing houses are prolific with rejection slips and rare to contract. A copy is over at my A/D webpages.
Reviewed by Rita Hestand 6/22/2003
This touched my heart. So sweet, so heartfelt. Very good writing.
When we feel something, it is like wriing magic.
Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 4/29/2003
Heartbreaking and brave.
Reviewed by Marco Landi 4/13/2003
Father' Time well dipicted in this warm poem...
Reviewed by Joseph* OneLight*® 3/11/2003
What a nice memorial.

Reviewed by Sally Odgers 2/15/2003
Well pictured and well realised, Wendy. Sad, but what a valiant character.

Sally Odgers (fellow Aussie denner)
Reviewed by TOMSDATTAR 11/7/2002
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 10/5/2002
Sad, of course, but well written. ~E
Reviewed by georgie 12/12/2001
that poem on your dad was very touching, wendy, it brought tears to my eyes!
Reviewed by Adelle 9/4/2001
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