What I Wanted

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What I Wanted
by John Carter

I wanted
to give you something
the world could never take,
but I lost it.

I wanted
to tell you the secret
that opens every door,
but I forgot
and locked them all.

I wanted
to sing a song
that would always make you dance
but I fell
silent.

I wanted
to be kinder
more patient
a better teacher,
to love your mother more
and myself less,
to give you only light and laughter,
not this dark estate.

I wanted
to do this one thing right.
To parent perfectly
in a world of dark beasts
crouching to take you away from me.

I wanted
to write this poem
to say how much I love you.
But these are only words.

The something, the secret, the song?
You are those things.

You’ll have to write
your own poem
to get a glimpse
of what I mean.