The Impact of Absence by Joan Kantor

The Impact of Absence

for fatherless sons

Not sure who he is,
if he is,
you hope he’s not there,
since he’s never been.
So you turn away,
though you might have seen him
from the corner of your eye
or once again
just in your mind,
a hovering yet distant
shadowy presence
seeing through you,
judging your every move,
but that critical voice
is your own
born from what you don’t know,
and though you say you won’t,
you still hope,
yet if he were real, really there,
and you had the courage
to face him,
to tell him the truth,
you wouldn’t even know
what it was.

by Joan Kantor

Editor’s Note: This poem’s short lines and long sentences underscore the emotional truth of absence in all of its myriad difficulties.


4 responses to “The Impact of Absence by Joan Kantor”

  1. poempost Avatar

    Very simple, very beautiful poem full of longing.

  2. Stephen Bunch Avatar

    U is a vowel, not a pronoun. Oh well….

    1. Christine Klocek-Lim Avatar

      Typo fixed. Thanks.

  3. richardsund Avatar

    What a moving poem.I had a Dad who was always present. I hope that this poem becomes a classic for anyone without a Dad, esp.boys. I grew up with some friends without Dads. My father was imperfect but he was always there for me, especially in a crisis.

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