My Father

A Bao A Qu (1973)

Diane Hannum

Saturday
When I picked the flowers for Mother
She was so happy
You hit me
You said I wrecked your garden

That night you made me sit
Sick at the table
Until I ate every pea

You wanted me to cry
But I didn't

I wish I could make you
Eat a bucket of them
One at a time
Cold like that

To you I'm not a person
Just someone you can push around
A thing you own

Grandma smells like cabbage when she talks
You don't kiss her
But you make me

She says I look like you
If I really did
I would cut off my face

After you take me to the barber
You tell him what to do
My shaved neck shows at school
But my friends don't laugh anymore
And Marty lets me wear his hat

You say Marty's dirty
He's just my friend

When I'm as big as you are
I'm going to hold you down
And shave off
All your hair
You'll go around ugly for a long time


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