The Alternative Father’s Day


There aren’t any cards in Tesco’s, Hallmark,
or the ever-so-fashionable Farmers’ Market
to say to someone on Father’s Day

“Sorry your father wasn’t around for you, or
sorry your children’s father isn’t around for them.
This might just be a tough day for you

with all the constant reminders to send/make a card/
give power tools/cases of beer/boxed sets of DVDs”.
How can you give tools to a Dad who never wielded one;

who may be, or is definitely, deceased? Alcohol
and T-shirts don’t fit the bill for absent, drunken dads.
So this one is for you! To say we made it, we grew up

we survived, and mostly, raised children ourselves
with or without our fathers, and their fathers, to help us.
If I was here, I’d give you a hug, a present, a box

of chocolates, a bottle of something stronger
than shampoo.I know it doesn’t make up for the loss,
but it does say, I’m thinking of you. You’re not alone

in this one. Maybe next Father’s Day we can have
a party/picnic/pub lunch, together, to celebrate
our making our lives what they are, and to toast our
children’s futures, with or without Dad.

I wrote this because every year I feel that Father’s day must be hard for a lot of people. Now I know that I will never be employed to write sentimental greetings for Hallmark cards, because it is totally impossible not to descend into banalities! and little phrases that sound like cop outs. For a poem, It is truly terrible.
But the feelings are real, and I’m thinking of you this Father’s day. If you feel it’s a weird one, you are not alone in this.

PS I know I haven’t got any children, but I do work with a lot of kids, and I am a twelve-times auntie…


About barabrith

lover of home-baked words, country and coastal locations, fragrances, camping, crafting, and knowledge for the sheer joy of it
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2 Responses to The Alternative Father’s Day

  1. barabrith says:

    Thanks. It wasn’t meant to be clever, I was just trying to think what I could say to friends and family who will also be having a hard time on Father’s day, and it came out as a sort of parody of a greetings card. Hats off to those that write those verses, I’ll never be one of them, it’s far too hard.

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