It’s a whirlwind season in my home life. Graduations, college preparation, combing through old pictures, casting off items we forget we had and certainly will never use again.  Everyone is drifting – not in a bad way.  But we are definitely coming un-stuck from each other.  There is nothing to prepare you for this kind of pulling apart.  Everything tastes bittersweet.

In the middle of all of this, I wrote a villanelle – about change, and love, and seeing the ones we love with new eyes. For my father, for Father’s Day.



Suddenly, he won’t talk to me:
He’s become a steel curtain.
It’s just the way I used to be

with my father, too, half angry,
half amused at the old cretin.
Suddenly, he won’t talk to me

about even simple things. We
are strangers more than next-of-kin.
It’s just the way I used to be –

I remember the agony
of this age – the man-trap he’s in.
Suddenly, he won’t talk to me

except on days he needs money,
and really, is that such a sin?
It’s just the way I used to be!

I don’t take it personally –
this is a game a dad can’t win.
Suddenly, he won’t talk to me –
it’s just the way I used to be.



About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

9 responses »

  1. sheryl kay oder

    Those last two lines, often repeated, well expresses both your pain and your understanding. The reader is made to feel what you feel.

  2. a bit sad, but passage of transition…where we are fighting to make it on our own out from under our fathers shadow…def felt and recognized…and will be there with my boys….

  3. First of all, I love Villanelles, one of my favorite forms, and you do it so well, like a voice of reason talking to the other self who’s hurt by a son becoming seventeen… and the good news is he willl outgrow it, but then he’s a man. Well done.

  4. Just a stage… thank goodness.

  5. How incredibly true Andrew…. Amazing how you were able to get that intense phenomenon of father and teenage son so perfectly into a villanelle…… Wow! Good writing!

  6. well crafted. I reflect as well, it’s just the way I used to be.

  7. Aw Andrew! I relate so well, that was me a few years ago–14 was the “magical” number that brought down the steel curtain. Come see what I got for my birthday 😉 Sending you empathy and love. You know, because he’s just the way you used to be–eventually he will come round ❤

  8. Super charming – works the form beautifully. k.

  9. hypercryptical

    Ah that time of chaos as the closeness we are familiar with dissolves into strange distance. Our children resent our intrusion as they waver on the boundaries of adulthood and seek independence from us…
    Tis a difficult time and a learning curve for ourselves when we recall our own turbulent times and don’t take the slings and arrows personally.
    Excellent writing from you Andrew with an obvious depth of understanding.
    Anna :o]


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