Poem: As Seen on TV

I was dismayed to learn of Bob Saget’s passing. I grew up fatherless and his role as Danny Tanner on Full House was important: it showed single parenthood as “normal” and nothing to be ashamed of. For thirty minute segments, he stepped in as a positive father figure where I had none. This feeling was so engrained in me that the first time my husband sat down with our oldest son when he was upset to have a heart-to-heart my first thought was, “Huh, like Danny Tanner,” and my second was, “Oh, like a dad.”

In November 2019, I was processing my childhood traumas and the complicated relationship I have with my parents when I wrote a poem that referenced this. I figured now is as good of a time as ever to share it with others.

I wasn’t raised
By a mother and father
I was lowered
into the depths of
‘Not enough’

Not enough
For him to stay
Not enough
For her to be present

I was adopted by
My television set.

I watched as
Danny Tanner
Hugged his daughters tight
Taught them self respect
An understanding of the world

I watched as
Carl Winslow
protected his daughter
From the predator next door.
Served his community
Over himself

I later learned
About sex and relationships
From late night talk shows
And trope-filled sitcoms
Wife nags man
Man is an incompetent partner

Music on screen taught me
To shake my ass when I dance
It told me in rhyming verse
That my body
My looks
My willingness to please
Were of utmost value

I wasn’t raised
By a mother and father
But I paid attention
To what was around

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