Sunday, June 21

Happy Un-Father's Day Dad

For all the times
you dangled me in front of your friends
like chattel, thank you.

Your willingness
to trade my innocence
for some small measure of acceptance
has made me the woman I am today.

For all the times
you berated me, my mother, sister and brother,
thank you.

Your proclivity
for choosing a public forum
to trumpet your disenchantment
taught us the meaning of shame.

My inheritance from you is rich…
intelligence, charm, distinctive blue eyes,
wiggling my ears and yes,
the ability to hold a grudge.

For all the times
you confided in me
during our private talks, thank you.

Your oratory skills
were unsurpassed
as you recalled wistfully
the women you’d bedded, besides my mother.

For every un-Fatherly gesture, word or act,
I thank you for teaching me
how to become numb.

You’re the best un-Father I ever had.

Yours most truly,

The Absent Daughter


Wayne Pitchko said...

wow....nice write

Deb said...

the raw tone matches the narrator's voice, holding a grudge, calling someone into account.

Texas2Tennessee said...

Thanks so much...this was a tough one.

Texas2Tennessee said...

p.s. I wrote this as a greeting card, since Hallmark doesn't make one for the violated child.

Paul Oakley said...

Very effective use of the celebratory Hallmark form to portray the ironic opposite of a "Hallmark moment."

Something that can't be said, indeed! Yet must be.

gautami tripathy said...

Un-father. It touched me..

stuff I never told you

The Good Typist said...

I like the twist in here; the controlled anger...a powerful read.

angie said...

powerful...and such sadness under the anger.

thanks for sharing this; it must have been hard to write.

Rallentanda said...

I like a person who doesn't mince their words.Pack a punch and call the shot.Good for you!

Erin Davis said...

This is so powerful and raw. A very brave poem. Love the irony of the Father's Day card genre.