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The Father who Forsaked
Mother cries from the shattered window,
"Where have you gone?"
The breeze blows her words across the pasture,
Where father's horses bray.
Ir blows them across the cobblestone street,
Across the village courtyard
Where me and father in the thick green grass used to play,
Just two days ago.
I gaze past the golden fields father grew from his own hands
To the barn and windmill silhouettes shadowing them.
I speak these words, for I know he hears them in my heart:
"Father, where have you gone?"
He doesn't answer.
While I wait, I think I'll go practice the song he used to serenade mother with;
The piano's black and white teeth are so dusty--
They seem to gnaw out at me when I play them;
Sing your jagged untouched teeth unto me, old, dusty piano,
Until father returns.
I begin playing father's piece; mother stops me.
"Don't ever let me hear that again," she says,
I see something in her eyes;
"Your father is gone. He left us."
"No, he wouldn't do that. He told me so."
"That's what he told me too. But he's gone now."
I didn't want to listen to her lie, so
I walked away, wandering far and wide--wondering,--where father went.
I walked until my buttoned shoes grew holes on the bottom,
Until the sweat from my legs seemed to cry tears through my torn jeans.
I walked so far and so fast,
But I never found father.
I listened, in the breeze,
For a faint hum of the song he sang to me
Not too long ago.
But all I hear is the
Buzzing of bees.
Flapping of fleas.
He must have gone;
Like a falling flake of snow,
Like a yellow, gliding leaf.
Like a possum fleeing into its fissure.
Like a d***** dog, or the
Tick, hiding in its flesh,
Like a shamed rat in its
Holed up hole in the ground.
Mother was right, I've realized
Father left us.
I see her now as a
Widow, wearing a shawl as black as cockroach's back over her face;
Though father may be alive, he is dead as corpse to us.
Father? What's that?
I sit, crisscrossed, applesauce,--the way someone taught me, who's name, I forgot--on my wooden floor.
In this timber house built by some person who's name I've forgotten.
And sit here, trying as hard as I Can to remember,
Just who that person was.