Too busy to write. …

Too busy to write. Here's a poem:


He is fifty-four;
big bellied, soft-faced.

My mother always said he was too
soft on us kids, too soft
to holler
to hit us
too soft to be hard enough
to protect us from
the world.

Too soft.

He could be hard too --
hard enough to keep his mouth
shut when she started hollering
hard enough not to catch her small hand,
in his big one,
not to stop the cane from falling
on breaking skin,
hard enough to turn away and
raise the paper,
maybe eat some rice --
and if his stomach was churning
I never knew it...

And am I soft
not to want to talk about it
not to want to show the world
to tell them what she was,
what he was

am I soft to make excuses
they were young
they were only doing
what others had done before them --
they knew not what they did...

am I too soft?

Look -- listen
let me tell you about
my father
about how he was soft
and hard...

Look --
I can be hard too.

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