casual as

can you pass the potatoes?

over sunday lunch he leaned in

my old man has issues

couple of guys owe him money

he did the work & now

they don’t want to pay

I was wondering y’know

if you might know anybody

people who might help?

& this is how life changes

I thought we were here for lunch

family friends hanging out easy

but now his true feelings come out

he thinks I’m the kind of guy

knows guys can help collect debts

which of course I do

but now the pretence of family

easy going friends ends

the problem I tell him flat

is those kinds of guys bring in

more problems than they end

do you really want that?

so now I’m an unhelpful fella

rather than a wise friend

& our charade parade of ease

tick tocks to an uneasy end

to be like this

past 5 years old

I never held your hand

felt a hug from you

no kisses no cuddles

nothing but distance

& I never wanted any of it

to be like this

I get it you didn’t like

who I had become

& you felt no responsibility

from the child to the man

that’s just who you were

running away again

I know I had no part in that

held no cause for your pain

& I never wanted any of it

to be like this

to understand your issues

were of patience

never sticking round long enough

to feel the changes

the best of us

go through

flag eight

the man had rules

when ladies

as he termed them

when ladies were present

no cussing

discussing difficult subjects

we musn’t get them riled

all het up over issues

things that might

not help them sleep

later that night

he’s single again now

living with a male friend

there in the city

fully cognisant

of life

womens issues

flying his flag eight

high

ways

daddy issues she says

as I huh hummn along with it

I’ve met the man in question

fella makes the right noises

seems caring about his little girl

& mumma is decent enough

cooking cleaning

as we drop in around three

& they talk as we guys sit

watch the game talk some too

later as we eat the conversation turns

well your daddy will talk about that

& no one is looking at me

though my third ear lights up

listening for the undertow

later she tells me

how her daddy dropped the bomb

figuring as she had me

was making her own way

they felt less inclined

to be involved financially

how she hated him his ways

tight control of money

& I asked best as I could

so this is only your dad

your mumma had no input or views?

& apparently I’m a typical man

I just don’t understand

that men have

keeping things in

is the problem

amongst many apparently

that men have

be more open she said

tell me about your feelings

so like a good boy I started in

I was having a bit of a er

bit of a lonely moment today

I started to say

and

do you need a drink?

came back at me

as I was saying before

Joan in the office is such a bitch

she sneaks around

like butter would not melt

is this a feelings talk?

I ask

or more a bit of a moan?

that’s the problem

with you men she says

you just don’t understand

emotions

don’t make it me

I was listening

wishing I could record

play back her words

because though I might be

she wasn’t

hearing herself

at all

these ongoing issues

problems with her man

& him being with another

feeling dis empowered

while I was opening up

different opportunities

reflecting back her thoughts

but being in the hole

she was unable to see

any way out

as I said the great phrase

if you have to make a choice

between me & another

please don’t make it be me

I just don’t get that

I just don’t understand

mebbe its time I said

to just sit with the thought

for a little while

until something appears

just not today

they don’t like it

the teasing

raising issues

in any light hearted way

or the coming straight out

saying the what needs to be said

putting things out there

for discussion

is not for them either

but they are not closed off

oh no

they are open & willing

to talk about anything

everything under the sun

just not today

thank you