Memories of My Father

So many times he was not there,

or he was there, behind a vacant stare.

He’d stay up late to music on LPs

a habit that made mother quite displeased.

 

I woke to yelling, “Hurry— you’ll be late!” 

“We’ve rent to pay and nothing for the plate.”

“Don’t worry, he smiled, “things will work out fine.”

He’d go to work returning after nine.

 

The anger festered throughout the house

until in time it turned into abuse.

A sixteen year old boy was forced into the ring

against the father who taught him everything.

 

The smell of Sherry slurred the big man’s lips.

The teen was quicker swinging from his hips.

The blood dripped from his father’s nose,

as guilt inside the teen quickly arose.

 

Defending his mother and his sisters, too,

was something that he didn’t want to do.

And seeing his father with a bloody face

became a picture he could not erase.

 

He couldn’t handle all the things he felt,

so he sobbed, stopped hitting and just knelt.

There can be nothing quite like this—

to hit the one you love with blood encrusted fists.