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POEM: Fragments of Fatherhood

Fragments of Fatherhood

by John-George Nicholson

The inability to shake the children we have been.

I understand now why they found it so hard.

Competing voices always know better.

Who wants honesty?

Like working in a chicken factory.

I get so so tired.

I said put it down right now!

Is Facebook really an arena for declarations of love?

A love with the capacity to kill.

I remember asking which kid it was when they said he had been bitten at nursery.

Judgment based on the pram you push.

I think he could be a baby model.

My wife says it is exploitation.

I still want to be me.

We read to him every night.

When he was first born I used to sniff him.

More Cheerio’s! More Cheerio’s…pleeeeease.

The territory of his face was fiercely fought over for months, now it’s just small skirmishes.

People keep saying that it’s just baby fat.

The world got more dangerous.

I cry more at the TV, especially watching 24 hours in A&E.

I have broken every rule related to sweets.

You start playing hide and seek again, but mostly alone.

The world gets much bigger.

The world gets much smaller.

More dogs should be muzzled.

As long at its not him I can take the screaming.

I was too young.

We are not getting a fucking puppy.

Mortality wants to ride up front.

More servant then slave.

I think of Anne Diamond and check he’s ok.

This is what I am best at.

What if he was the bully?

Maybe things would be different if I had carried him.

‘But he’s your son, you’re not supposed to struggle’.

The selfishness is still there.

If it were like a bank account there would be days when I would need a big overdraft.

I sometimes think this is somebody else’s life.

I am still not ready.

He makes me better.

He was way too young to cross that bridge, but when he made it on the second attempt I wanted to jump up and down.

Am I doing this right?

You become a prisoner to your own pocket

My friends don’t call as much.

Even if he was a serial killer, even then?

Spontaneity is fading.

He hugs me back and I get how much love hurts.

Concerts become passing conversations.

My head gets over crowded in the loneliness.

I remember the children’s homes.

Never ever.

He’s like glue.

Is he burning?

What if he found God?

Are we close enough to a good school?

I swear if it happens I’ll wait outside the school gates for them.

Is she really telling me how to raise my child?

Credit card bills soaring.

He is not even two and already he is getting away from me.

Where are these boundaries everybody keeps talking about?

That feeling when I lock the bathroom door and know nobody can get in.

The nappies are not so bad.

Brushing his teeth is torture.

I said don’t stick your fingers through the fence they’ll bite them off.

He’s opened up my dad.

It’s still madness and confusion.

Cheerio’s five days in a row can’t be good.

Some days I just feel like a cog.

My brother looked across the table and said ‘look at us it’s fucking unbelievable’.

It’s a role.

I’m sick of the nursery run.

They all look like real parents.

He will get hurt.

How much is too much TV.

Sometimes I just sit in my car outside the house.

Did I leave the rain cover under the pram?

He’s broken almost every single pair of glasses I have.

I get bitter at over scheduling time.

He will climb trees.

Some days it feels like you’re being swallowed whole.

The wolves are in the house.

I’m making it up as I go along.

It just comes to you.

No means no. How many times do I have to tell you? I’m warning you.

I’ll never forget his face when the nurse made us pin him down.

Some days I want to escape.

Some days I want to take him with me.

How do I tell her to stop talking to him in that silly voice.

The adults are getting older.

Some days I just feel like somebody else’s echo.

Should he learn an instrument?

Am I forcing football on him?

He won’t listen when I tell him to stop eating the bubbles.

I think Scooby Doo was a step too far.

Like a perfect gift that is impossible to unwrap.

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