I’ve forgiven you for
the way your eyes light up
when you smile,
the laugh lines that
make me hate and love you
at the same time

how your thumbs display
dominance
and determination
without meaning to

for they way you rub
your chin when you
debate a question and whether
you’ll give an honest answer

how you slap the table when
emphasizing the point of a joke

I just wish I could
forgive you for making my
heart turn in to concrete
and for slapping the counter,
I had just wiped up
as you said
my name

My father
is the type of man
I don’t want my son
to ever become

he could bruise
backsides and
little girl’s egos
using the good
rule of thumb

he preferred books
and booze
over our company
and not once do I remember
him ever saying he loved me

the extent of his rage
often blamed on my mother
her hands were defenseless,
mine too small to provide shelter

after all of these years
it still pains me to admit
I’ve looked for his acceptance
in every man I have ever met