From a Fatherless Son

A response to Sylvia Plath

For a Fatherless Son

You will be aware of an absence, presently,
Growing beside you, like a tree,
A death tree, color gone, an Australian gum tree —-
Balding, gelded by lightning—an illusion,
And a sky like a pig’s backside, an utter lack of attention.
But right now you are dumb.
And I love your stupidity,
The blind mirror of it. I look in
And find no face but my own, and you think that’s funny.
It is good for me
To have you grab my nose, a ladder rung.
One day you may touch what’s wrong —-
The small skulls, the smashed blue hills, the godawful hush.
Till then your smiles are found money.

From a Fatherless Son

Maybe I did notice something,
Growing beside me, but not an absence,
Not a tree  —
A void was present but it was filled with your stability.
No death, no saturation, no illusion.
Abandonment, yes … a deep, resenting, abandoning,
Sharp bursts of gelded lightning sedate the air.
I was numb — and my stupidity was true,
The reflection in the mirror was partly you,
I saw another too, but they were gone.
the face was funny but it was my own.
I still remember your nose, your necklace.
What was wrong was your interpretation,
The silences were long; my identity was hushed,
My smile never left, and yours in return, was my found money.

From a fatherless son from A on Vimeo.

The video is interspersed with verses responding to the original poem to create dialogue from one mother to their son and from one son to their mother. the response is reflective. The video clips are edited scenes from Sylvia Plath’s life and look at the relationships of home, living, work and being a mother. It is to present that the role of single parenting is not to say their is something missing but to look at what the void has been filled with, a unburdened love.