But … can you come back to me?

A poem, by Tricia Bates Smith, 7-31-2023

You left when I was so small, leaving a bitter mother and a loss of childhood. 
He’s no good was all I heard said of you. 
I worked so hard to make up for being your daughter. 
I didn’t like you, but still I wanted you to come back to me.
By the grace of God, I made it through childhood, 
found a good man, and soon had children of my own. 
The tough questions came from my little ones – where’s grandpa? 
I acted like I hated you. But, deep inside, I wanted you to come back to me.
I grew strong as a woman of faith, with great Love for Christ Jesus. 
I sat in religious classes and learned of forgiveness. 
I thought of you often, but could only bring myself to indifference. 
You were the deep pain that could be healed, only if you came back to me.
Now I’ve taken to my bed as I near the end of this life. 
I pray to God for mercy and to bring me peace. 
This body holds on, it feels as though things are unfinished. 
I thought you were behind me, but my soul says to call you back to me.
I’m ready Daddy. I’ve done all of the things I should with this life. 
In my dreams you are there looking so different from who I saw. 
Your smile so broad and bright as you stride along the sidewalk toward me to take me home. 
I am ready to Love … now that you have come back to me.

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