To have a father kiss
A few thoughts...
It is quite difficult for me to post this poem. Like many childhood abuse survivors, there is the matter of shame around the circumstances I describe, as if I somehow brought them upon myself, that someone to whom such things happen must surely be defective in some way.
And there is the matter of not wanting to alienate the readers I am so grateful for, whose encouragement has meant the world-- that such a poem is too shocking, too impolitic, too risky in a host of ways. Then I knew I had to, if I were to be true to my mission to continue to "allow her", the inner girl, a voice and to break through the shame-infused fear that in turn puts a huge stop sign in front of self-disclosure. 'Tis the season here, it seems, of disclosures of all kinds of things; perhaps subconsciously I was given the courage to write this by the various psychodramas playing out in the national news..
I have written a host of "post-confessional" poems trying to set down the truth, the heart of the matter, sometimes constrained by my lyrical impulses to pretty up that which should be rendered with simplicity, dignity, nearly as a statement; to me the best confessional work is the least adorned and makes no apologies either for its declarations or imperfections.