Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sundown Dad - Poetry Jam

Sundown Dad

His blue eyes glimmer soft these days
Blue veins, wrinkles, silken skin
He lingers over memories, old ways
His chatter stutters, stops, begins

He watches sunsets with closed eyes
Too bright he says, it’s nicer here –
Retreats to porch and sits and sighs
Draws blanket off the chair and near

My father in his sunset years
Is not the man who held me high
Who whistled away all childish fears
Who told me he would never die

My father is a feeble shell of life
With rattled memories jangling round
Fed on pills by beleaguered wife
Who walks on eggs and makes no sound

And yet at times, he sits up straight
And makes a joke and laughs aloud
And shows us ‘Dad’ as he was then
Witty, happy, bright, and proud.

This long goodbye is painful to me
Watching as his sun drops low
It seems that we would all be happy
Should he simply just … let … go …

 ... shared with other writers at Poetry Jam who have written to the theme of sunsets ...


  1. i am glad you get those times, no matter how brief that you get to see the man that you knew as dad
    aging can be such a sad process...especially when they are taken from us mentally
    before taken from us...

  2. This is just lovely, Susan - very evocative of the emotional toll, that bittersweet good-bye takes on a family in an elderly parent's sunset days.

  3. This overwhelmed me ... Not in a bad way, but because of its deep and profound message.

  4. Oh this is really wrenching. I have seen those fading sunset years as well in my own relatives. I think somethings they are probably harder to watch than to experience. I always hoped so anyway. Thanks for fixing your link!

  5. You have done it again...I'm in a puddle of tears. Too close to home. Way too close.

    1. Oh dear, Vee. There are many of us in this generation facing this long goodbye ... it was cathartic for me to put it to words, as it's been a increasingly hard to face the inevitability of late.

  6. This really touched me, Susan. It's hard to watch our parents age, isn't it?


  7. It's so hard to face the bitter truth of the sunset years of our parents...

  8. I love the way you used sunset to describe his age... such a beautiful poem!

  9. This is such a wonderful take on the prompt and something that probably will touch everyone as much as it touched me. Beautiful!

  10. Lovely poem and what a picture of compassion. this is so special.

  11. Wow Susan, what an absolutely brilliant take on the prompt. My family is going through very similar times and my heart was in every line here--empathizing very much. The poem is so lovely, poignant and perfect. Thank you

  12. A heartfelt tribute to a life lived to the full...

  13. Poignant and deeply touching - resonates with me as I see my father in his sunset years. Thank you.