by Toon Tellegen

My father
wanted to love my mother,
wanted nothing more profoundly than that

and he gave her innocence and unpredictability
and fine promises
that she had to live up to,
but it was not enough

then he gave her my brothers
and fistfuls of down-and-outs and charitableness
and – for lack of anything better –
melancholy and meaningful boredom,
but it was still never enough

my father didn’t know what more he could do,
he wanted so badly to love her…

and he bent over her
and gave her rain
and inconsolability
and relentless nights

and he loved her.