Strong Man



Sawdust and nails, splinters in your hand
daddy how do you do it?
creating something just for me
from a piece of a big old tree

Sandcastles on a windy beach
ours have towers that never fall down
slumped in deck chairs, fish, chips and greasy hands
I scream in the ghost train, you hold me tight
you laugh loud at the cobwebs and the devil of night

There are days when I think I know you
and days when I’m sure I don’t
sometimes you make me cry
I stand alone, tearful, and question why

You’re a strong man, building tall walls
making my world safe
but daddy, I’m drowning, I can’t find me
there’s no room to breathe

On goes the strong man’s armour
you stop fighting the world, and fight me instead
I grab your arm, shout to your face
you are pale as a reflection of yourself, puts you in your place

You are the little boy within
soft and weak as I
the book of who you are stays firmly shut
so no one ever knows that much

Dad, your hair has turned fluffy and white
wrinkles are drawn on an old face
your smiles are longer
you talk of mistakes and your foolish heart
how fear of love kept us apart

Dad, your face is pale again
I can’t find your smiles
rain storms have rusted the armour
tall walls are lying on the ground
the strong man takes the final bow


Picture: Father Son – Deviantart



10 thoughts on “Strong Man

    1. Yes, so much of life is, especially relationships that are painful when they should happy. But my dad was an amazing mixture of character, and a troubled man sometimes, but a good and honest man, and we learnt to love and understand each other quite a few years before he died. My mind is at rest knowing that, because I know not everyone gets that chance, to end it well, I’m very grateful that I did. 🙂

  1. Wonderful, wonderfully poignant. This reminded me of my relationship with my dad. Fortunately, before he passed away, we were able to rekindle, reconcile and renew our estranged relationship. I’ll be writing about that soon. But what great imagery. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, so kind of you! It’s a good feeling to have settled past misunderstandings and upsets, and like you I did get to reconcile with my dad too, we are very fortunate to have that experience, I know a lot of people who never had that chance. Thank you so much for reading and your lovely thoughtful comment! I’ll be checking out your blog soon, I have a little list to go through, so it may be a few days before I get there!
      Suzy 😀

  2. Beautiful poem Ms Suzy!! Filled with so much emotion. Heartbreaking, it felt as if the Dad was trying to be a good Dad, and make it safe for his son. But he didn’t know how to show emotion. Or perhaps he was too overbearing. If I was reading right, it sounded as if the Dad with age, had fallen sick. By this line, Dad your face has turned pale again
    the smile on your face has gone once more
    Rain from storms has rusted your armour
    The tall walls have fallen to the ground
    The strong man takes his final bow

    It seems the Dad passed. Aww, I hope that the old assumption falls away, and men begin to show emotion. They do need a strong man, but kids also need humanistic, love, affection, and communication.

    1. This one was actually about my Dad and I – in a poetic way! He was quite an emotional man, but he was definitely overbearing sometimes, we didn’t always agree, and we clashed terribly in my teenage years. But ‘he’ grew up – eventually!! 😉 And yes you’re right about the end, it was about him falling sick and eventually dying. He had mellowed a lot with age, and certainly by his 79th year when he got sick and eventually died, he was the man I always wanted for a father. And it was a bit of a shock to see such a strong man so weak and vulnerable. Sad really that it can take so many years for some people to change, but at least he got there – better late than never!

      Yes, there are so many assumptions about how men should be. A lot of them put about by men themselves – it really doesn’t need to be like that. It only encourages men to build distancing walls, and they isolate themselves from the very people they need. A lot those assumptions about how women should be have gone now, so there is hope for men! It will be good to see men finally free of those ideals that they feel they need to live up to. I do believe it is possible to be strong and be affectionate at the same time. My kind of man! 🙂

      1. Yes Ma’am, I think it’s written somewhere for all teenagers to clash with their parents… Lol, I know I did. I can look back and say, I was being hard headed. 🙂 It is certainly a lot of assumptions both men and women feel they need to live up to. The person should Be what feels good to them. Parents should encourage their kids to do the same. Yes, a man being strong and affectionate sounds like a winner right there…ding ding ding lol 🙂

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