Shades Of Rain




“He loves you,” my mother tells me

He’s yelling again

He’s drunk again

No, drunk still

“He loves you,” the teachers tell me

He’s at my school again

Slurring curses at the teachers

Flecks of spittle flying from the corners of his mouth

“He loves you,” my friends tell me

He’s early again to pick me up

He’s staggering in the parking lot

Hollering, barking orders, insisting I’m late

“He loves you,” the doctor tells me

She found out.  She knows my secret

She tried to intervene, to help

He’s making me switch doctors again

“He loves you,” the school counselor tells me

She was there when he stumbled in the door

Breath rancid with the smell of that morning

Eyes glazed, blood shot, sickening yellow

“He loves you,” the camp director tells me

The smell of cheap beer, of vomit, of grime enter the room

Three hours in  car, alone with him….no, with it

Will I even get home?

“He loves you,” my husband tells me

He’s in jail, convicted for taking what wasn’t his

If only he remembered, if only they knew, what the alcohol made him forget

He took what wasn’t his so many years before

“Tell me about your mama and daddy” the neighbors say

Daddy?  The word even tastes bad

What right do they have to assign such intimacy, such emotion, such……

To someone…no something I don’t even know

I lay in bed awake and that’s when I see him

Eyes glistening with tears, beads of sweat laced with blood

His eyes piercing mine, not with hatred but with love

“I love you” he says

And he stretches out his arms, and he dies

A crude wooden cross, a torn robe and a crown of thorns

Are all that is left in the end

He is my daddy


This poem is about: 
My family


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