Monday, April 7, 2014

A to Z Challenge: F is for Father


When I said "Daddy," I spoke to you.
The you that tucked me in 
And washed the pain from my broken skin
When I fell, as children do. 

When I said "Father," that was you too.
That was the you of hidden histories
and bones and lost identities.
The you that ran my heart through.

"We didn't want to tell you,"
You whispered through your beer
As Mom pretended not to hear.
"You weren't there. What else could I do?"

My vision shifted, the world askew
made me Atlantic-sick,
the ocean you picked
To cross, the country you picked to woo.

And they took you.
Despite the pain at your feet
And the secrets you keep
They pretended you were someone new.

But who, really, are you?
Daddy, Father. Empty words
that echo the countless voices unheard
because you only did what people do.

Now they scream at me, too,
From the camps and the ovens
and the smoke that rose to heaven.
Am I as guilty as you?

This much I know is true:
You fell, as fathers do. 

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