Fathers and Strangers

personal, poetry

To whom it may concern,

You didn’t teach me how to brush my teeth, neither were you there when I saw the tooth fairy. But somehow I have your smile that has been dimmed for a while.

You were not around to cheer away my fears, you didn’t witness me fall or put the bandaid on my scraped knee. But your bones are the ones that frame my body.

It wasn’t you that took me to watch my first movie, you did not introduce me to Ron and Harry, not even one bedtime story. Yet everything I see, are from these eyes you gave me.

Our likeliness is what I was blamed for, put to shame for, so much that I’d curse your name for walking out that door. Leaving me with your face distorted in a photograph and nothing more. Twenty five years this October, the days you cross my mind are those I do not have strength to stay sober.

Hate is what you left in the woman that birth me, jealousy that filled her eyes whenever she looked at me. From the moment I was free, your image is the only thing she wants to see. Your blood runs through my veins, but to me, to me… you’re a just a name.

What would I say if you came? Did you think my life was a game? You and my mother who wanted to play yet I am the one that has to pay? Would it change anything if I said I’m gay? Does it matter which monster I slay? Why couldn’t you just stay?

Maybe, instead I would thank you. For giving life to the egg that drops and letting me grow up with my Pops. For taking that hike and allowing me to be raised by Mike and his bikes. For not giving me the chance to share with you my father daughter dance.

Yet here I am guarded and broken hearted, still wondering, was I the reason you departed?

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