Note from Joe: The title and subject of this poem refer to the famous line "The child is father of the man"
in Wordsworth's "My Heart Leaps Up"
Father of the Man
While wandering the wastelands of my mind,
uncertain where the hazy pathways led
and frightened by the darkness up ahead,
I saw my Youth approaching from behind
and paused and waited, thinking what to say.
We'd broken contact many years ago —
we hadn't much in common. Even so
his certainty might help me find the way.
He came to meet me coldly with a frown,
and I fell silent, angered, filled with such
resentment that this parent asked so much,
mixed with regret because I'd let him down.
So burdened by the weight of wasted days,
we drew apart and went our separate ways.