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.