Prompt Six: (letter) I hope you did not learn from me

Boy on a swing


I hope you did not listen to me
what little did I know
and how little did I know it
how often did it show?

I hope you did not learn from me
I hope that it was clear
my life was plagued by past regrets
there were no lessons here

Except to forge your own way through
the obstacles you face
not to become like your old man
not to just take up space

Pursue the passions of your heart
have pride in who you are
for doing what you’re meant to do
is sure to take you far

And if you know not what that is
don’t wallow in a pit
nor imagine what you could have done
whilst there’s still chance to do it

I hope you did not learn from me
for what had I to teach
except that, if your dreams are small,
that’s all you’ll ever reach


Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “Prompt Six: (letter) I hope you did not learn from me

  1. If I’d not known that you were the author of this poem, I’d still have been able to identify you as the writer. How beautiful and how bittersweet these lines. How complex the relationship between father and son. The older man becomes almost invisible at times – stepping back from giving his son advice or wishing the young boy not to live as he did. Such a delicately written, profoundly sad poem.

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