warning: ****** assault, domestic violence
Daddy yells at momma.
He’s upset that after she made me,
she’s too tired to be with him.
I step into the kitchen
where my pieces of DNA were fighting.
I had just started going to school,
and I was too young to realize:
kids really are helpless
in situations like these.
He shoves momma’s clothes off
I was paralyzed.
I couldn’t move.
I didn’t know
what was going on.
My momma screams in retaliation,
“You *******! She’s right there!”
I’ll never forget the cruel glint in his eyes.
“She won’t remember.”
As a thirteen-year-old,
I was braced for war.
Momma told me:
“Remember the pain
I went through?
Make him pay!”
I know what you went through.
I’m sorry I am still part of him.
Empty bottles litter the floor
just like the pictures of bodies
in my history textbook.
I stand from amongst them,
glaring at him
as he snores on the couch.
At the time, I didn’t understand why
dad would pass out so quickly sometimes.
I step over the bottles,
making my way over to the sleeping beast.
I’m scared he’ll wake up.
Ah! Just like in my favorite books,
the villain’s neck is wide open!
I reach my hand out,
clutching my pretend dagger—
I **** him!
With elation, I suddenly feel
the curse that tied me to him
The steady rise and fall of his stomach
brings my spirits back to reality.
Disgust twists across my face,
and I deliver a punch to his beer belly.
standing on his feet in a rage.
You’ll never understand what I went through!”
My instinct is to run and hide,
but I instead stand proudly,
puffing out my chest.
“I wish you were never my dad!”
I smile to myself,
giddy in hopes that
momma would stop crying
and be proud of me.
He looks hurt by it.
He never comforted us!
I throw out a few curse words to try to scare him.
That only makes him angry.
“Get over ‘ere,” he says through gritted teeth.
He grabs me by the waist of my pants.
My momma is worth whatever he does to me!
Preparing to graduate from college
with high honors
and a position at my dream job,
I should be happy.
Yet I can't help but realize
it has been a decade since I’ve spoken to my dad.
Mom is with a new man.
He touches me in ways dad never did.
If I was thirteen,
I’d find the ten year anniversary as a reason to celebrate.
“That much closer to removing his curse!”
I would think.
I’m even more disgusted by my mom
spending all of her time with her boyfriend
than I ever did when
dad brought women over.
If the curse is supposed to be disappearing, then
why do I feel just as empty
as I did