2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.
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A Sestina About Holidays, Fathers, and the Difficulties of Expressing Love

For Mother’s Day, I featured an ode. Today, to conclude my Father’s Day trilogy (which started here), I’m going with a sestina. Yes, a sestina. What on earth is a sestina, you ask? Well, gentle reader, I shall enlighten you in as comprehensible a way as possible. A sestina is a thirty-nine line poem with six six-line sections and one three-line section – and with two extraordinarily cool and incredibly structured requirements. First, that each of the six-line sections must end with the same six words, in varying order. In other words, if the six lines in the first section end with the words first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, then each of the lines in the five subsequent sections must end with those same words, arranged in different order. And second, that the three-line section must include those six words also, three in the middle and three at the end of those three lines. Talk about rigid, eh?

So here goes – a poet I am not, so just remember that sometimes it IS the thought that counts. And the willingness to try something new! Also, bear in mind the title today. I am freely admitting that emotion is difficult right from the get-go, so hopefully that burst of emotional honestly will also garner me a few sympathy points for my efforts… 😉

A Sestina About Holidays, Fathers, and the Difficulties of Expressing Love
It is June again, time for the Father’s Day holiday.
That always strikes me as odd – dedicated days to honor a parent.
Like the rest of the year you can do or be anything:
Be mean, be dismissive, be condescending, be inaccessible –
As long as you are, for this one day, full of love
And honor and respect.

This feeling holds true for Mother’s Day or any holiday honoring anything.
Why do we feel the need to be reminded to love,
To make ourselves show the type of respect
That should be granted freely and regularly to the parent,
Grandparent, or lover celebrated on a given holiday?
As though love were, every other day, inexpressible – or inaccessible.

I don’t have anything against a celebration of love.
I don’t hate Hallmark, am not anti-holiday.
Excuses to buy and give candy or flowers or anything
Else that says “I love you” or shows respect
Are fine with me, of course. Sentiment is often inaccessible
Or difficult for some to show, be they child or parent.

I myself am not demonstrative. I have no problem showing respect,
Little trouble showing trust or happiness; these are not inaccessible
Emotions or words for me. But I do often find it hard to show love.
I am one of those who uses the excuse of a holiday
And a gift to say things I otherwise couldn’t to a loved one, be it parent
Or lover. I find that things somehow make it possible to say anything.

Even as a writer, I find that emotion words are oddly inaccessible.
They hide from my tongue, though they live in my heart – respect
Is much more accessible, easier to show. How difficult, the job of parent –
To give unconditionally; to be ready for anything
And to expect nothing in return. To have to wait for a holiday
And interpret a gift to “hear” expressions of love.

I myself am a soon-to-be step-parent.
This year I was surprised to hear a celebratory anything,
Let alone to receive my first gifts for the Mother’s Day holiday.
The joy this gave me was inexpressible; the love
I felt was a feeling previously inaccessible,
Unavailable after so many years alone – a feeling melding joy and respect.

I have a new respect now, a changed view of what it means to be a parent.
For the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, the words shall not be inaccessible.
For you dad, I will say the anything; I will verbalize all of the love.

Happy Father’s Day Dad – I love you! 🙂

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