Monday, April 14, 2014

Poem a Day: 14

Forgiving Our Fathers

I want to forgive my fathers for their various sins --
Roy for dying before I could know him, Tom
for taking his place, Roy for leaving a vacuum in his
wake, Tom for drinking his darkness like gin and

sucking us all into his poisoned center. After all, it’s not
really our fathers’ fault, is it, that we have to suffer? They
only do what’s been done to them, programmed to pass
on their painful inheritances like the taint of drunk

blood, like the gift of a new name.  Our fathers fracture
and recreated us in the same ways that their fathers
once crushed and molded them -- putting us back together
with rotten glue -- so that as we grow older our bones

ache against the invisible breaks, our hearts labor under
the veins’ unseen divisions, and our bones disintegrate
under the force of a thousand ineffable kicks. Really,
they couldn’t help it -- lugging with them, as they did,

their own broken bodies, rent with ghostly fissures.
Perhaps we’d be better off, then, forgiving ourselves for
our inability, at last, to ever truly forgive them. We were
all cracked in turn, beginning (of course) with our hearts.

April 14 2014

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