Lovable

My parents lied.
They said they loved me.
Not really. Not once that I remember.

It was not from lack of trying.
It was from seeing my brother’s ghost
when they looked in my direction.

How dare I not be him.

Still, they had love in them
building up in a large reservoir
behind a grieving dam.

My mother was a girl scout leader.
She spread her love over the girls in her troop.
Her three troops.

They lapped it up and cherished her.

My father was a professor
and poured his love into calm instruction,
so patient with slow learners.

I never learned how his students felt about him.

I do not hate my parents for withholding love.
I was angry with them for it.
Anger resigned two decades ago on this grudge.

How simple, complex and lovable our humanity.
Love’s riverine capacity
to flow around the obstacles of grief and pain.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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