Moonlit Musing – With Catastrophe, Comes…

Of Blood and Hurricanes

Where’s the limit?
Where’s the line?
Thirty plus years, and
You never found the time.

But now? With catastrophe,
Suddenly, we’re family.
“Blood means something”
Not to me.

Convenient Kin.
You deserve only
What you’ve given.

Only around to ask for aid.
Don’t think a hurricane’s
Winds can change
The way you blew out of town,
And never looked back.

I never knew you.
And I don’t want to.

Kindest gift you ever gave me?
Only gift you ever gave me?
Was your absence from my youth.
In exchange, I’ll offer you this truth:
I don’t know you by your choice,
And I never will by mine.

Only around to ask for aid.
Don’t think a hurricane’s
Waves can wash away,
All the days you weren’t
Where you should’ve been.

Blood alone isn’t a bond.
You weren’t there.
You don’t deserve:
my care
my money
my anger
my forgiveness
But I’ll give you that last, for free.
You’re not enough to call forth
The worst of me.
You know, that bit of you I inherited.
The weakness that makes someone
Hate their family or worse:
Abandon it.

I hope Puerto Rico heals.
It was home, and I hope
For it to one day be whole again.
However? I’ll save that energy
For a place that gave me great memories.
A place that helped shape me.
In a way a grandfather should have.

Only around to ask for aid.
Don’t think a hurricane’s
Rain can clean,
The long list of failures
Written by your name.

C’mon now, old man, you know you haven’t
Got what a real patriarch does.
No pictures holding loved ones,
No Christmas cards, No thoughtful gifts,
You never deserved any of it.

I never knew you.
And I don’t want to.

I don’t even know your full name.
Your birthday. Your favorite season.
Do you have brothers? Sisters?
You’re a stranger, mister.
A storm didn’t tear that away.

Do you draw? Do you write?
Is any of me from you?
Do you read? Do you see?
You gave up on us, on me,
And now we, now I will do the same.

Jessie Gutierrez

PS: So what’s happening in Puerto Rico is devastating and I’ve been all about signing petitions and donating money to help out. Shamefully, I’ll admit this tragedy is hitting me harder because I did live in Puerto Rico for a couple years and it’s just more personal. With everything going on in the world right now it’s hard to devote equal attention to all the awful, so I guess I’m trying my best to focus on one area and hope that I can be at least a little helpful.

That being written, what I was not anticipating after the hurricane was hearing from my biological grandfather after a lifetime of radio silence. This man has the gall to ask for money after he abandoned my grandmother decades ago. My sweet, godmother-to-about-50-kids, grandmother who is a saint. I’m glad he’s ok (in that abstract ‘I don’t want anyone to die’ kind of way), but I want nothing to do with him.

In my heart of hearts, I wonder though: Is that the right thing to do? To walk away from someone in need, someone asking for my help? Isn’t that the exact reason I find him so loathsome? Because he walked away from a family that needed him?  *sigh*

3 thoughts on “Moonlit Musing – With Catastrophe, Comes…

    1. Jessie Gutierrez

      *nods* Thank you for understanding, even though I’m not sure I conveyed anything all that well. In the end, I decided to act as said grandmother taught me: help out, because it is the right thing, even if he is/was in the wrong. She’s a much better person than I am; she forgave him ages ago, in a way I’m fairly certain I am incapable of.

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