A poem for my father

Here is a poem I wrote a while ago and I thought to share since I’ve been doing a lot of personal reflection in my life. This poem was written from the memories I have when my dad visited me in jail. I was on suicide watch (24 hours) and not allowed to leave my cell. My dad was my only visitor aside from the guards who watched me on various shifts (surprisingly, they let me visit him). He visited me only once and during that visit he tried to share his letter he composed for me. He held it up to the glass so I could read it. I can’t remember what the letter said but I remember I was very angry when I read it. So, I got up and left him. I have regrets for not giving my dad the respect he deserved for taking time to come visit me, especially during a time that must have been hard (if not harder) for him to experience. From these memories, each day forward I try to remember to give him the respect he deserves.

The things I remember are the things I want to severe
The memories of you visiting me where nobody’s free
Darkened cement walls, and sunshine withdrawals
24 hours on watch. 24 hours locked.
No clothes to call my own and no feeling like I was home
Dressed in all blue during my short visit with you
The thick glass that separated us, that prevented us
From hugging one another, like father and daughter
The pain in your eyes, looking at me like I wasn’t the girl you raised me to be.
Confused, hurt, disgust. Maybe only one. Maybe all three.
Maybe thrice more than I could visualize.
Perhaps it is these things I needed to realize
That I let you down and I know I didn’t make you proud.
While my head hung low toward the ground
I long to return to that day and let you have your say
These are the memories that prevent me from being free
Free from the pain, the regret, and free from the disdain.
Free from all the pain that you felt that day.

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