The Father I Never Had
I lost the father I never had.
Not all at once, but inevitably—
running through my fingers like sand
away from the insistence of my small hand.
It’s hard to mourn the unknown.
He was the only father I’d seen,
yet words of love seemed to burn
his tongue, paternal warmth I couldn’t earn.
When he was home, I clung to fiction,
hid in loose threads, away from his voice—
always on edge from that turbulence
that caused our feuds’ permanence.
No more violent words.
I am far without his poisoned sphere—
I know now what a father ought be;
it was never him, that is clear.
After I set myself free,
I saw the depth of a father’s love
in the lives of friends, strangers, peers—
and I mourned the father I never had.