Playing life is not fun
With a shadow for a father.
The only time I see the real form
Is when he weeps
Or verbally punches me
And sometimes when he is having non-manipulating fun.
Those are real and I see glimpses of his face.
The rest of the time I see dark
The form is never accurate.
Or is it too small?
Like he is flitting too fast
Between ten circus mirrors
That constantly spin in circles.
I have got to hold on
To something else
Because I am dizzy
Trying to see you.
This shadow has been a presence
All my life
Darting around the room,
It was really fun chasing it
To try to make him smile
Or at least hope he is.
But I am tired of that game
Because I can never pin him down.
He always got the best of me
Then the rest of me did too.
I attempted to come out to be held
And he would try
But shadows give sorry hugs
Not to mention they are silent with meaning.
Other people think his antics are funny
and his uniqueness draws people who need help with religion.
I do not care what they say about him
Because they never longed for a daddy there.
My shadow was around all the time
But it never really kept me safe
Or listened to my pleas
Even though he promised.
How can a shadow really protect anyone
I think that is why my real dad transformed
Himself into something else
I wish he would have chosen differently
Because it really hurts me
When people ask me where my dad is
Because I have no idea.
This Red Tent writer has asked to remain anonymous. It is our privilege to honor her request.