Poems & Essays

15 Oct

I Am The Only One

General/Column 5 Responses

who believed my daughter.
Doctors useless, school nurse gave her hell,
no one believed her but me.
Who am I kidding, I didn’t believe her either.

That’s not really true.
Except one time I thought she fake-fainted.
Not a proud mommy moment.
She forgave me.

To be honest, at fourteen, during a cross-country meet, I fake-fainted.
I was a crappy runner, always came in last, unless an angel appeared
on the other team slower than me.
My father chose this one event in my entire childhood career

of plays, concerts and spelling bees to freaking show up?
So, two miles in, down the hill, out of the woods, perfectly positioned
in sight of the crowd, I made the decision to faint.
The only people I had seen do this were in soap operas,

I remember thinking,  fall in slow motion, make a soft moaning sound.
I saw my coach roll her eyes as I peeked out under clenched lids.
What a proud father moment that must have been.
The car was silent on the way home.

What he did say, later that year, driving home from my treatment for depression,
I thought you would be the only one to amount to something.
Not so fast there,  jerk.
I didn’t say that. I wish I had.

I eventually forgave him. Before he died,
dementia made him sweet and childlike.
Once, in that state, he said I love you.
Funny, the things we believe.


This poem is dedicated to my daughter who after 4 years of illness was correctly diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)


Therese Tiger is an emerging poet whose poems have recently been published in The American Poetry Journal and The RavensPerch. Tiger’s poems are informed by her work leading workshops and support groups for parents, her childhood as the youngest of seven daughters, and her role as the mother of two young adult women.

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  1. Carolyn Klinghoffer

    October 17, 2018 at 1:00 am

    The familiar glow of shame when I cringe at a behavior I observe in my child that I can remember from my own childhood. That’s a pretty unique piece of the human experience you’ve captured there. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

  2. Julie Ackerman

    October 23, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    This work feels especially poignant given the discussion around women being believed. Great poem.

  3. Schuyler

    October 23, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    You make the reader feel like they are right there and experiencing these events with you in this beautifully written piece of work. I love your honesty and sensitivity. I, too, look forward to reading more from you!

  4. Linda Fetzer

    October 24, 2018 at 2:19 am

    As I was reading the poem I felt like I was watching a film of the events in the story … with close up shots of the fainting spell long ago. Dream like film. The idea that an angel appeared as a bad athlete made me smile.

  5. annette mambuca

    October 24, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I marvel at the rawness and evocative pictures this poet paints in this work. I know from personal experience how hard it is to excavate old pain and transform it. The poet’s ability to turn it into art is a gift.


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