the legacy he’s leaving

Tonight has me feeling sentimental. Not the good kind, where I remember all the good times, the crazy friends, the shenanigans I fell into and scraped myself out from. The kind that makes this living room look dark, makes my ears perk up with the faint echoes of a sad song, makes me feel like I need a beer or seven to make this go away. But then again, that’s something my father would say.

I always thought, like a child, that when I was taken from my mother, I was someone’s victory. Because she always treated me like a loss. She valued me when she had me because I wasn’t hers to keep. He made it very clear that I was his, that he was the one steadfast thing in my life – imagine that, a drunk being steady!

He has always been a terrific liar. A narcissistic demi-god in my life, controlling every aspect of my emotions with the ease of a puppet master. The terrible Zeus wreaking havoc on Greece to meet his amusements and vengeance. Tonight, I am angry. Tonight, I am defeated but not knocked down. Tonight I’m striking back, in the only way I’ve ever known how. With words he’ll never read, feelings he’ll never validate, and a rage that only he would understand because the dark side of the soul I inherited is his legacy.

Untitled: a poem for my father

The child you never wanted,

The woman you couldn’t get back.

The screams you wouldn’t swallow,

The heart and soul you lack.

The lullabies you never sang,

The secrets you couldn’t keep,

The habits you’ll never change,

The faith –  you’d never leap.

The embrace you never gave,

The steps you never took,

The words you never said,

The pages you tore from the book.

The past you can’t deny,

The future you can’t face

The names you claim to forget,

The things you can’t outrace.

The time you never spent,

The rage you never held,

The chances that you lost,

The remorse you never felt.

The river you sold us down

The dollars in your eyes,

The loneliness you’ll feel

When you know we’ve realized.

There’s more in there. But this is a start.

-xoxo

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