Friday, September 12, 2008

That John is not my father


Dear Darragh

I write to update you on my trace of your birth father. I wrote to Mr John ________ last week and received a telephone call from him today. John confirmed to me that he knew your mother and that she had a baby by him in 1978. He was not aware that you had been placed for adoption.

This week I was 'introduced'
To a man called John
He's my biological father
And I'm his only son

He knew that she was pregnant
But she gave birth alone
I was born to a single woman
His whereabouts unknown

That John is not my father
Despite the DNA
There's no basis for a relationship
There's not that much to say

I do not know his story
Of how I came to be
I do not know why he wasn't there
To be a dad to me

That John is not my father
In my personal estimation
To qualify you need to give
more than a sperm donation

His choice can't have been easy
It may have caused him grief
Or just as possibly walking away
Gave him enormous relief

That John is not my father
And though I wish him well
I wonder at his recklessness
Of putting my mother through hell

Had he ever thought of me
Wondered how my life had evolved
Wondered if he was part of the world
Around which my life revolved

Had he wondered if I wondered
How he came to his decision
Did he wonder if I'd accept it
Or treat it with derision

A man of 30 as he was
Maybe should have faced his obligation
For doing the deed of planting his seed
And creating the situation

That John is not my father
It's not just about genes
It's presence from birth to adulthood
And all the in-betweens

His health is fine, my main concern
And I'm sure he was shaken
To hear at all in such circumstance
About the path my life had taken

I wonder too if he was prepared
To take that call some day
Or to face the fact I may not care
And was happier that way

I don't want to disrupt his life
Or even remind him I exist
I'll just remain as I am now
An opportunity he missed.

That John is not my father
He chose not to stick about
And so I owe him thanks at least
for the way my life turned out

My adoptive parents are my folks
The ones who made me thrive
Genes are fine but love and time
are what I needed to survive

That John is not my father
I have one of my own,
My dad John is all I need(ed)
I'm proud to be his son

That John is not my father
This John is.

And I love that he's my dad.


  1. Here you go tearing at my heart strings again!

    If nothing else, that John's behaviour allowed you to to know real love and genuine caring.

  2. Ah thanks GM. I found it a difficult post to get "right" and in the end just threw it up there, but most of all I wanted to get across that though this development is an interesting one, it changes nothing about how I feel about my parents. If he wants to get in touch, well I'll deal with that as and when, but I won't be spending any energy thinking about it. :-)

  3. Damn you Darragh, not only am I hungover today but now I'm sitting in tears at your poem. It is beautifully written, am sure it was difficult to compose and post.

    You are right when you say "An opportunity he missed". He has no idea what he is missing out on. You are a pleasure to know and a great person. Its his loss. Your adopted parents are a lucky couple to have you in their lives.

  4. I have to say Darragh, you always seem like one of the most courageous people I've never met and this post just continues to confirm that notion.

    Like with so many of your posts, I'm sure you've helped many with this.

  5. Seriously excellent writing, dude. I really think there should be a book published with this poem and other blog writings for the benefit of teenagers. There's a huge amount of wisdom here.

  6. Speechless
    Really well written

  7. Aw, Darragh. Don't know what to say.

  8. Thank you for the comments and compliments :o)

    @Stel - I reckon that's your hangover more-so but thank you. I'm the lucky one with both my parents and the friends I have :-)

    @Maxi Cane - why thank you sir, that's a great compliment indeed. If it helps someone as much as therapeutically the post helped me resolve the issue in my head (writing does that) then it's a great thing.

    @K8 - thanks for the visit and comment Kate. I appreciate the feedback. The book idea is great, will definitely have a think about how we could go about it.

    @Pat - thank you sir. Much appreciated, especially given your own stories :)

    @Annie - thanks but nothing to say really - it just is as it is! But I appreciate the comment :)

  9. this is absolutely beautiful...


  10. John was also the first name of my biological dad who went and fecked off after 2-3 years of my life...

  11. You say that you just throw these posts up, but this is a work of art. You're a remarkable person, Mr. Doyle. I don't say it enough.

  12. Hi, I came across this post doing a search on google for a group about people whose father's left them. I just wanted to say how awesome this poem I too had a biological father that was never part of my life.

  13. You write very well.