but he didn’t – linda m crate

did you feel like a man
when you were shattering me,
splintering me with your nightmares?
you were the devil putting me through hell,
and i didn’t know where i could run to
to save myself;
my mother was always working and she took
your side most of the time
as if i could do no right and you could do no wrong—

only in nature and books could i find solace
the soft needled pines
remain my favorite hiding
all these years later when i visit home
because you made me an outsider in my own family
convincing me that i was a burden to my own mother
i have never asked for help
even when i needed it because i don’t trust that anyone
can save me from my turmoil,

and you’re the reason
i don’t always believe people when they say
they love me;
because your love was a lie
full of scorn and anger you cut a girl that was full of love
even for you, even as you kicked her
simply because father knows best
but he didn’t.


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Image: Detail of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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