poem / short story

My father passed on October 14, 2020.
I’ve put off writing. Something he himself
loved. My parents were divorced when I was two.
My earliest memories are not good.
I remember the phone call my brother and
I received, which stands as the pivotal
hardship to hamper my father’s talents to the
point of failure. Not that his creativity was a failure.
Rather that his determination to break through
dimmed. I may have been twelve, or so, years old.
My mother answered. She called for Chris and then
held the cordless phone toward us and said, “It’s for you.
It’s your Dad.” Chris looked at me and said, “Uncle Darrell
is dead.” Our uncle had lived with my father and his wife
for roughly 3-years. My father asked him to move out.
Lack of productivity concerning finding
a job and motivation to live well. My father gave his love,
and his home, to his brother long enough, he believed, and
it was time. A few months later Uncle Darrel hung himself
outside a three story building in position for morning traffic.
My father told us that he felt his brother’s soul go through him.
My father, very slowly, stopped trying. His talent landed him
on stage playing guitar with Aerosmith as a very young man.
It’s possible everything seemed so very easy to him with his gifts.
But it wasn’t easy. He had children. Hardship after hardship found
him and somehow I became published multiple times while my
father had not. Yet, he was the master story teller. I can’t tell
stories. I haven’t the ability. But when I sit to write it’s there.
I shut the writing off on purpose. To read is to think and to write
is to feel. Feeling is an easy thing. And while I don’t need permission
to live my life, I feel too much lately to write. Anyway, that’s what I
tell myself as I drink too much and step forward every day toward
a success I never saw coming as I call upon my father more now
than ever.

-M. Taggart

Love you, Dad.

May it be

My Dad told us we’d be different. That we’re Scottish and that we’d be barrel chested. I didn’t know what that meant. He told us that we’d be smart and not always understood. He told us lots of things that were hard to believe. He positioned us with confidence. His own creativity was taken for granted and I believe he wanted my brother and I to not let anyone take from us what might be ours in the space of creativity. I’d like to believe that we can all celebrate our differences including our talents. I’d like to believe it’s possible. I’m proud of you, Dad. You had the mind to be yourself. I’ll continue to do the same.

***
That is the exact post I placed on my personal FB page as a partial goodbye to my father. I share it here because I feel a sense of respect and friendship with many of you whom I’ve connected with over the last number of years. I know some of you care, or for that, thank you. And while for a time, I didn’t see my father as a child, and when I did it was once a week on Sunday, he still made an impact on my life. I loved him and still do. May it be that I see him often in his perfect rest. Love you, Dad.

It was my father who helped to give permission to believe in writing.

I prefer being transparent. I want people to know what’s going on.

Matt

poem

I like about how our cat sits
with his tail wrapped around
his furry paws while he
watches my dart fall onto
the floor and then attacks
with such alert reflexes
that I’m struck with realizations
that we know so damn little
while talking as though we
know more than a cat

-M. Taggart

Poem –

No one can find this location but myself.
It’s really not much to see. A cluttering of
leaves and trees. However, this image
knows me intimately. I stood in the woods,
alone and hurt and leveled my sight upward;
capturing my state of mind in a single image.
I see a number of memories in this photograph.
I feel an upcoming loss, with the practicality of
hope that’s been arriving in waves and leaving
me flat. A month long roller coaster teasing finality
as though it wishes to torture not only the host,
but all attached. Life is funny and hard like that.
I can handle the transitions while I continue to
pray for his freedom from pain; a curse which
claimed him from childhood on, as though an
unseen hood floated along with the best of his
talents only to dampen each achievement with
clutter. We’ll see what’s to come as ‘this’ will
never happen again, not even the leaves.

-M. Taggart