Gaylene Nicholson

My Two Dads

I had two dads,
Like one tree that shares two trunks,
Mine had one soul that shared two bodies.
My first dad left me one branch at a time,
While my second dad felled all at once.

My first dad was hardy and strong,
His body was his greatest tool,
Whether he was working in the fields,
Or holding a child in his arms,
His instrument never let him down.

My second dad grew fragile and weak,
His body was not his friend,
It hindered him when needed most,
No longer an ally in his battle for life,
So many betrayals for which to atone.

My first dad bubbled like a fresh water stream,
His lively face sparkled wherever he went,
Even in the face of chaos, he flowed calmly,
He drew others in with his frothy side,
Like running water, he never realized his own power.

My second dad was like a November day,
He grew grey and quiet with scraps of light here and there,
Like an early snowfall, he was soft and gentle,
Eroded by time and disease, his shiny demeanor worn down,
Our roles reversed as he became mine to protect.

I had two dads,
I loved both dads alike but in different ways,
Like the tree with two trunks,
My first dad offered safety and shelter,
While my second dad’s girdling roots took him away.

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