Written by Leanna Duong
Bitter. Busy mornings and long nights, I could never forget his figure. He left whenever times were hard and on the important days he was never reliable. I played on the grass most of the time he had to smart mouth somebody. I made friends with the earth, I said hello to the plants. The trees told me to learn how to love him, and to open my heart to him before I disconnect and fade away. In disbelief, I failed to understand how I could start to love somebody so bitter like him.
They say your birthday is the most valuable, most precious, most important date to your interest. You can build a lot of great friendships just by remembering a birth date. But birthdays never meant anything because he never said it did. He disappears, he threats, but he always returns. I am beginning to capture a passion in this stage. Poetry filled the lonely eyes in my heart when he was gone. I turned to drawing and writing, but only of dark thoughts and visualizations. Everything I created has his heart stained, it is influenced by his maladroit, decrepit soul. All I wanted was to remember who he truly was to me.
Never once a moment of his time to tell me why the blossoms only bloom in May, and why he named me after the Princess of Vietnam referring her to the Goddess of the Moon. Why only in the summer time he wears his cowboy hat and what made the thunder so angry I had to count thirty three one thousands before it struck again. I never understood my dad but because of him I understood thunder storms.
Disconnect. Greed for breakfast, sorrow for lunch, foolishness for dinner, and belligerence before bed. Negativity struck four times in a day. My dad barely cooks but when he did, it tasted like the world to me. Small things like that I never care to share. It’s still my favourite smell in the world, but he will never know that. Minds are shut and are stubborn to open, eyes are left painted because nobody tries to grow them. Things are quiet, people are annoyed, kids are screaming and crying. No dinners around the dinner table, there is left over food in the microwave, some left over conversations no one wants to refer to.
Weak-willed in the mind with vulgar eyes, we never spoke with understanding. It’s raining outside and it’s the coldest thing to my heart that could comfort me. I stopped hoping for the days he would see how much I want his worth to be. I stopped hoping for thunderstorms, I forgot about the blossoms, I forgot about May. Since the day I’ve been disconnected, I stopped everything I have ever wanted from a dad. When I was three I never remembered what he was to me. He never carried me, he never changed me, but he changed me. My poetry grew to wrap around the dark thoughts of a long lost forest he used to take me to. Before the disconnection I would always show him pieces of my art, traces of my mind, pathways to my thoughts. Never a word of support from my dad, but like a thunderstorm, he never acknowledges the same place of mind twice.
Heavy. I am grown, I have learned and I am still learning. Dad, I am a woman now. But I still walk on my tip toes to avoid conversation. How I wonder if it hurt him that I avoid his eye contact. I hold every ounce of my breath in whenever he enters the atmosphere because I’d hate to smell his sorrow through his skin, the disappointments through his clothes, or the salty words through his teeth. My face twists into a grimace whenever my name soaks through his teeth, leaking in between his lips. They say your name is the sweetest, most important sound in any language, unfortunately my father made that sound a nightmare. My name could never escape his mouth without him making it feel like its been decrepit and misleading. I don’t ever want to deal with anything he has to say.
Through the bitter stages of my life, he left me disconnected with myself trying to understand the heavy loss he left me trying to piece together. It’s raining outside, my plants are dying, I dropped a plate of snacks and my life scattered on the floor with it. Flashes of the past fills my head, I stay numb, I still don’t know who he is supposed to be to me. My mind reflects a thunderstorm and we have never been so similar. Weeks passed and then months followed, it is still rare to have his name roll off my tongue. I still don’t know why blossoms only bloom in May, why I am named after the Goddess of the Moon, and why I could only understand thunderstorms when I think of him.