Family Ties

Papa was tall, silent, and strong
he wept only when he drank
as the liquor flowed, so too the tears.

Pointing to the bottle of scotch,
he’d whisper about love and spirits
and pain.

With his tall body swaying back and forth,
back and forth,
my father was like a tree
being pushed by the wind.

Even as a child, I wanted to catch him
or maybe just

                 run

                                     away.

I grew up and I drank
shouting, weeping
angry at my father
angry at myself
for feeling so alone.

Years have passed and
I am sober.
Yet even today
there are bold and intense
flashes of anger
like a volcano, erupting.

I look and I recognize
the expression of fear
on my daughter’s face

Just like the one I wore
when I was growing up

And so I bend down and
pray.

(2002)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s