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Points on a Line

My father's father was an alcoholic
Who threw away the grocery money
Buying a round for his buds at the bar.
He was dead before I was born.
My father hated him
And made no secret of that fact.
My father kept his vow
Never to visit the realms of irresponsibility
Inhabited by his father.
His obsessive work habits
Dragged our family from
"Dirt Poor" to "Upper middle class".
And yet, I fear he was never happy.
A tool maker, yet a better engineer
Than those whose prototypes he made real.
He never knew
That his insights were unique
And far ahead of most others.
When you disagreed you were
Or worse,
     The Enemy.
Me, I am hyper anxious,
But in recovery.
I have a flair for being right,
But am not often enough
Effective in coaxing others
Away from their dumb ideas.
Dad could arise at six
And turn paper into product
Working 80 hour weeks.
I can't.
Sometimes I have trouble
Getting out of bed
Just to pack a bag for vacation.
And yet,
My habits of mind seem to follow
Those of my father and his father before him:
Points on a line.

27 June 2009

by Bill Cattey