photo by Aaron Harewood

photo by Aaron Harewood

     And you decided to

 name him great;

        on a par with even God.

    Given to daily feats

of epic verse,

while prone to acts

    of leather and pain

   that you were too ready to ignore

       for a small glimpse of his world,

    his heaven.

        But when the years passed

   and his wonders were made flesh,

his divine aura shone

    less and less

      and the beatings nagged for

 your attention more and more.

  And then one day quite suddenly,

  you woke to find where

  once stood your idol,

existed your father,

 and by the tell-tale

scars on your face,

      a too human man.


Rod C. Stryker

I grew up a victim of child abuse at the hands of my father. As a child, I escaped into my head (my pretend world) and did everything I could to be invisible, to avoid the abuse. I discovered the religion/faith/spirituality of poetry and self-expression and it, along with my very patient wife, Sabina, saved me. This poem was my way of acknowledging my father’s abuse for what it was. I will no longer hide the abuse or the abuser. And my hope is that this piece may help others who struggle as well.


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