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My father's hair is gray now.
I'm not sure if it was the elevator
or that realization that caused
the lurch in my belly.

There's a little plastic container
on the bathroom counter, housing
blue, yellow, beige pills, designed
to slow the body's inevitable breakdown.

There are lines around my father's eyes now -
I feel his loneliness echoed in my chest,
in the mirror as I prepare for bed.

A blurry, half-remembered moment,
smudged with time, of sitting on his strong
shoulders, laughing in the sun,
so sure that he would always be able
to hold me up to touch the sky.

We live this half-baked life now,
circling each other, moments intersecting,
brief, our real lives hours away, with our
other families, and his silver hair,
little pills, sad eyes make me terrified
that we missed our chance, started
too late, and I will never be
daddy's little girl again.
This one is extremely personal, and I have a few concerns with it. It has gone through a few iterations so far, so I thought I would se e what you fine people have to say about it. :)

Specific questions:
:bulletgreen: What do you get from this? What do you imagine the situation is?
:bulletgreen: Is there anything that is jarring, seems out of place, etc?
:bulletgreen: How is the word choice?

© Jessica McGale
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:iconbetweenbirches:
betweenbirches Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I am crying. My daddy has ALS; I understand this through and through.
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I am so sorry. :( :hug:
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:iconbetweenbirches:
betweenbirches Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
:hug:
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hi there! Just a note to let you know I've featured this piece in my 2012 showcase of literature: [link] :D
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! :)
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012   General Artist
Congratulations on the well-deserved DLD, lovely lady:heart:
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! :)
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012   General Artist
Surely, sweetie! :huggle:
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:iconsomnolent-droid:
Somnolent-Droid Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
This is heart-breaking!

I think that the situation is that father and daughter somehow lost contact or became a bit distant from each other as they grew older. Then the daughter suddenly realises how frail and old her father has become. She feels hopeless and lost as she realises that time
is running out. She desperately wants to reconnect with her father, but she feels that the gulf between them has grown too wide.

I don't think anything seems out of place.

I think the word choice is great.

This is a really sad and moving piece.
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it!

I am glad that it was moving for you. I really worried as I was writing it that it was too oblique, that it would only mean something to me. Which isn't bad, but I find that writing is better when it impacts other people as well. :)

:heart:
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:iconsomnolent-droid:
Somnolent-Droid Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
I think that some of the things you covered affect many people to some degree, besides - you painted your picture so well that it was easy to be drawn in.

Genuinely moving. :heart:
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:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here [link]
Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much! I appreciate the honor.
Reply
:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hello! Just a note to say that I've featured this piece in my journal: [link] :la:
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh thank you very much! :)
Reply
:iconorenasher:
OrenAsher Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012
I like this. I can definitely relate. Unfortunately, I can't say that it will get better. The thing is, my dad and I -- even after 10 years of me trying to have a relationship -- fell apart. And one day I gave up. But it wasn't long after I gave up that he came around on his own. I don't know why. And didn't ask. … I'd like to say your dad would come around, but that would be wishing it for you.

As far as this piece goes, I like it but it's jarring because the images and the rhythm are jagged. 'The lines around his eyes' next to you looking in the mirror feels like me tripping. It's too sharp a turn, you know? And it does jump around too with you being in an elevator and then being in a bathroom suddenly. But it makes sense in a way because of the last stanza and how you say that your lives are now like intersecting moments. I get that.

I think that's the thing about getting older and reaching into your mid-20s because you start to travel away from your parents. There was a definite moment for me when I was around 26 when I realized that I didn't "have" my parents anymore… not like I used to. We had grown apart. Our relationship is different now. I won't say bad, because it isn't, but there is much more distance. Completely devoid of venom, but it's just the natural order of me becoming a separate person.

I think the word choice is fine. It works and they illicit a real feeling of what you are trying to express. My only suggestion would be -- you might try smoothing out the jagged edges a bit and tying this thing more together. With a word, a single image or color or something. I still like that it's a little disjointed because like I said it makes sense with "intersecting moments" … but still. …. Hope that's helpful. <3
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:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
"We live this half-baked life now,
circling each other, moments intersecting,
brief" This is lovely.

I imagine that the situation is that your father's health is failing and the realization that the relationship you've always wanted has not been and that that is the greatest pain.

As far as "jarring" - the only thing I can recommend is using less "now's".

I hope this helps. Thank you for sharing!
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for your comment! I appreciate your feedback. :)
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:iconrennskye:
rennskye Featured By Owner May 2, 2012
This is... an incredibly brilliant depiction of time stretching forward, thin and out without permission to do so. It gives such a wonderful impression of time, of lapses, of the things we loose without even realising that they're starting to go, that they're going at all, until they've left.
The only thing that really pulls me out is "with our other lives", despite the fact that it should fit fine within the stanza. For some reason it just... pulls me out of the work, though I fall back into step almost immediately after.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this, you are quite talented my dear.
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
thank you very much for your comment! it made me feel all glowy. :) I am glad that you enjoyed the piece so much.
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:iconrennskye:
rennskye Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
It did? I'm glad! It's well deserving of a comment, and more, as it is a fantastic piece dear.
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:iconfuzzyhoser:
FuzzyHoser Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is quite the emotion evoking piece, dear. It has a sweetness to it that just aches. And there isn't a jarring thing about it. I thought it very cohesive and properly hinted at a story that just might be too personal for all the world to know.

I quite like your choice for a title, as well.
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much. I am glad that the hinting at doesn't come across as "wait wtf." Haha.

I am also glad that you like the title. I have a hard time choosing titles that I think are appropriate as well as descriptive, compelling, etc, so it's nice when someone says that the one I've chosen works! :D
Reply
:iconfuzzyhoser:
FuzzyHoser Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. (:
Haha...yeah, no worries about that.

I know what you mean! Gosh, titles are the most difficult thing for me. But you certainly picked a dandy one for this. :)
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:iconthemissingchapter:
TheMissingChapter Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
There's something about realizing that their parents are aging that makes a person extremely vulnerable, and it gives you a real kick in the gut when it finally hits you.

I can't really answer your first question, since I already know the situation. As for the other two questions, there's nothing jumping out at me as jarring, and the word choice works really well, especially in the fourth stanza.

Not much of a critique, but I don't think there's much that needs changing. Good job! :)
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, doll. :hug:
Reply
:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Please join #To-Our-Family and submit this - it is exactly the right fit for our first prompt and you'll find fellow deviants who like writing about their family :)


(as for your question about possible revisions - I personally find the repetition of "now" a bit distracting...)
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the suggestion. Will check out the group. :)
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:iconbeeinthebottle:
beeinthebottle Featured By Owner May 1, 2012   Writer
This is sad and beautiful and reminds me of my dad.
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :heart:
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:iconlocaphoenix:
Locaphoenix Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
That's so sad! :(
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:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:hug:
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:iconlocaphoenix:
Locaphoenix Featured By Owner May 2, 2012
:)
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