Dear Father

Dear father, please forgive the way

   I’ve cursed and defied you,

And that I have lacked the courage

   to tell you what was true.

The brutal way you taught us each,

   your children, to be good,

And why you seemed to hate us all,

   we never understood.

I’m speaking now about the pain

   of welts that striped my back

And all the times you slapped my face

   when I was talking back;

The promises you made to us…

   and how they were not kept;

The times you passed out shouting drunk

   and all of us then crept

Around the house in frozen fear

   as angrily you slept.

If you recall one happy time

   that any of us knew

It might relieve the fires of hell

   where I’ll be joining you.

A Hill resident, the author believes that the appreciation of art should not be influenced by the vagaries or prejudices of biography.