I had not seen you in 8 years
8 years where I learned how wrong you treated my mother,
And my mother became my father as well,
And my brother became my male role model.
But where were you?
8 years where I only heard from you through awkward conversation on the phone
That probably lasted 5 minutes,
But they felt like an eternity.
Every time you asked what was new, I had nothing to say.
I could not find the right things to tell you because you just would not understand.
I think that happens when you talk to a stranger,
You don’t know what to say or how to act when you’re with someone you don’t know.
I didn’t know what to tell you.
I finally saw you after 8 years.
You were working and, when you saw us,you didn’t know what to do.
And I didn’t know how to feel,
Whether to cry of happiness or resentment.
Resentment that you didn’t look for us in 8 years.
We had to look for you.
Children of 14 and 16 had to look for their own father,
Because their father was too much of a coward to look for his children
and too much of a drunk to reason,
but that’s what made us let you go.
You looked at my brother and then you looked at me as if not knowing if we were real
or just a dream.
You had tears running down your face and I did too,
But I don’t know if they were sad tears of finally seeing you or tears of just feeling sorry for you.
There was such an immense ache in my heart because I wanted to punch you for not caring about us but how could I do that if I finally had you.
You had us wrapped in your arms
But I felt so trapped.
I just wanted to escape
Because you weren’t home.
You were a stranger.
I was hugging a stranger
And that wasn’t right.