Still Digging

Father, as immoveable as a mountain taught us to orchestrate submontane routes Circumnavigating his rocky moods bestowed upon us a fear of masculinity Resilience instilled the necessity of mining gold from darkness: still digging. (Sketch mine)

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Parental Poison

A milk jug, handle turned in, was all it took for father to lather, a barrage of curses decrying our lack of worth, foaming from his mouth – spittle that remains lodged in our psyche – drug resistant venom. (Tuesdays poems come from Twitter.  Follow me at @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)

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The Art Of Survival

Learned the art of survival from father, a commando- trained warrior, never able to leave the battles behind A sharp-shooter, whose expert eye tracked our every fault, with sniper precision, shot us down. Innocence has no place when the enemy resides within; when trigger lines are camouflaged by wall- to-wall carpets, and young minds, craving exploration, […]

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Weighted Down

Weighted down. I swallow rocks to anchor this restlessness – no exit available. Would love to re-locate, check self-assessment into a sunnier place – but the room is not ready. I shove it back down – am a silhouette against stormy horizons. My sister and I meet here, at the edge of denial, both seeking […]

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Debonair and Deprived

“Is that you father?” acquaintances would ask – voices deep and dreamy. Particular about his dress, meticulous in his grooming, Dad’s eyes sparkled oceans his dark, wavy curls framing a strong face, his body tall and muscled. I’d tilt my head sideways, incredulous at this response, then realize they’d fallen for his mask – carefully […]

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The Infamous Ice Storm

April, in Ontario, is as unpredictable as my father’s temperament – sometimes warm and encouraging, sometimes icily treacherous like that morning, in 1973, when coaxed by the early appearance of buds and the mildness of a morning breeze, we donned confidence instead of coats. By noon the winds has shifted direction – rain rapidly turned […]

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Seeking Home

My father’s kingdom his castle; I inherited his strife, witnessed years of control and submission felt used, undervalued, robbed; Was overinvolved responsibly, misunderstood the nature of his anguish, drew attention to myself interpreting his pain as personal. Our Father’s mansion (no place for inanimate objects) nurtures wisdom, recalls neglect, reflects on life choices, lack of […]

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