Prompt by Airplane Poetry Movement: Uncertainty

Father’s Day is coming up, and this poem is dedicated to my Appayya. He has always been the person who like things planned, likes items placed just so, doesn’t like to take risks, likes to do the tried and tested. When I started making life choices that are outside of what he then perceived as “normal” and “good”, he didn’t understand it but supported me wholeheartedly nevertheless. What I realized later on was that along with me, he was changing and growing too. He’s the bravest person I know.

Dear Appayya,
People say
We’re so much alike
And so vastly different.
How can one chromosome hold
Such an enormous dichotomy?

Dear Appayya,
People ask you
What does your daughter do?
Why is her path so astray
From the one straight narrow true?
I don’t know how you manage
To answer so many queries with a smile.
But I’m thankful you do.
I’m thankful for you.

Dear Appayya,
I’ll ask you
Remember when I chose
To plunge into unknown waters?
When I fell almost to my death
And rose again?
Remember when I shocked Ayee and you?
And you’ll laugh and reply,
Which time?
I know how much you like solid ground
But when I jumped you jumped too.

Dear Appayya,
We’re so much alike
We neither like
Uncertainty much, we neither
Love limbo as such, but we
Have both learned
To be okay with it.
Planners and list makers
Pro and con deciders, we
Have seen each other glow
Best when we’re spontaneous.
Like bungee jumpers
Holding sweaty shaking hands
We’ve taught each other to let go.

Dear Appayya,
Not all fathers take this journey
And at times I feel like a daughter
Not good enough for a man like you.
But then they say
The journey is the destination
And look just look
At the criss-cross
Helter-skelter
Zig-zagged
Wide-ranging
Terrain behind us!
It takes a special kind of Dad
To do this, and I’m so glad
That you did, that I always had
This very human, very flawed,
Very loving gift that is you.

©Shweta Bhat

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