Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Father

He walked by me everyday
But once a week he would stand in my door way
And ask me “what are your plans?”
Or maybe “what are you doing?”
Sometimes it was “where’s your report card?”
“Nothing.”
“Nothing”
“I don’t have it”
He would then get mad at my lack luster response, shake his head, and walk into the depths of his room
This man who stood five foot seven
With soft hands that have held on too hard
Who always had a mustache
And has only cried twice since I’ve met him
Well, he is my father
However he stopped being my father when I turned fifteen
He stopped being my father when I told him to stop yelling at me
He stopped being my father when I told him to let go of my arm, “you are hurting me,”
He didn’t let go
So I told him no
No I don’t want to talk to you
No I don’t want to interact with you
Because you didn’t hear my no until I told it to someone else who didn’t hear it
And once I told them no you heard all the no’s I’ve told you since I was born
No daddy I don’t want that food
No daddy I don’t want to go to the store
No daddy I don’t want to play that game
No daddy I didn’t win first place
No daddy I didn’t make varsity
No daddy I told him no
No daddy you never heard my no’s until it was too late
Now I flinch each time you raise your hand to grab a bowl from the cabinet
Now I duck when you swing around to grab something behind you
Now I don’t talk because if I told you what was in my mind you would be terrified
He walked by me everyday
But he never said anything until it was Friday night and he asked me
“What are your plans?”
“What are you doing?”
“Where’s your report card?’
“Nothing”
“Nothing”
“I don’t have it”
I’m sorry daddy
I just get so scared when you talk
Or move
Or breathe
That I find myself holding my breath like a statue at a museum until you have walked past my bedroom door
I’m sorry daddy

But you’ve failed me

2 comments:

  1. Wow, powerful. You have touched a nerve here as I am sure you will with others. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, powerful. You have touched a nerve here as I am sure you will with others. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete