My Father, the Absent One

Day 20

Prompt: Take the phrase, “My (blank), the (blank)”, replace the blanks with a word or phrase.

My Father, the Absent One

can’t recall
the day you
walked out or
even if you walked out at all,
maybe you ran?
I do remember the bike you bought me,
the few lessons you taught,
and the dollhouse we built together-
and how you said you would
build my dream home just like it.

I remember my first fight at school---
I told you it wasn’t my fault, 
you hit me anyway and cried.
I remember asking for money for academic trips
and special occasions---
you would curse me out and say I wasn’t your daughter.
I knew you lied---you were always good at lying to me.
My gap tooth and birth mark proved I was your only daughter.

I remember the other women and children
you replaced my mom and brother with---
and how they didn’t go without
or how they would threaten us.
Without you, I barely went without anyway---
just only without your perfect attendance to witness
my perfect attendance and straight A’s,
my orchestra concerts, recognitions,
birthday parties and holiday celebrations, prom,
the boy talk, and high school graduation.

I remember wanting you to be proud of me.
I remember wanting you to love me like a father should.
I remember losing trust and confidence in others.
But, I didn’t know your pain.
Until now, because we share the same.



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