So when you, my father

So when you, my father

So when you, my father, 
come next to pass us by, 
ask again if I 
would rather find you standing 
strong, as once you did 
to my childish eye, 
with a voice that made me tremble 
in both love and fear of failing you. 

Or find now forgiveness 
in your frailty, 
your hard lines softened 
by confusion, the indignity 
of dependence offered 
as absolution 
for your judgement of 
my different song. 

In this there is no choosing. 
The exercise of love 
exorcises all 
but the fear of losing love. 
Ask again and you will 
find me answerless, 
unable to explain 
the journey from your public
wrath to your private pain.

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