Posted: May 21, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

My Father Played the Mandolin


My father plays the mandolin
when life begins to close him in;
playing old folk tunes and country airs,
music helps to soothe his cares
and ease his life.

And he plays,
when the need for drink
clouds his brain
and he can’t think.

He plays,
when the bills are high
and cash is low
when my mother cries.

He plays,
into the night
but it never seems
to come out right.

He plays the mandolin
when life begins to close him in.

He plays.

BY David Allen

This is an early Fathers’s Day Poem. My dad was a WWII veteran who never fully recovered from combat. He was incredibly talented — a football hero at Manhasset High School, a cartoonist, a comedian, a musician — but he was also an alcoholic most of his life. After he gained sobriety when he was 43 years old, he became hooked on pills to treat his post traumatic stress disorder (which they didn’t call it back in the mid 60s). He died in 1992. (A poem about that will follow next month.) We were never really close. I was short, non-athletic, bookish and disobedient and he was disappointed with me. I was the oldest of seven children and ran away a lot.

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