poetry

The Double

“You’re the double of ya Da’
ya know?!” As she’s commonly
been told; protests always
get stuck in her throat,
at war with being polite.
“Aye, ya must be proud!” They
urge, and he agrees.

She wonders proud of what,
exactly?
Proud of abandoning
the girl he made? Of abandoning
her to raise herself; never
there when she needed
help.

Like when she was ten
and boys who were very much
men made remarks in the street,
teaching her to look down
at her feet. Or at nineteen,
when that boy she liked
would hit her in the face
over at his place, yet she’d
repeatedly return
to him again; just
to feel something…

A father is the early
weapon and shield a girl
wields so a boy
might treat her differently—
but not for her. Instead,
she learned to use
borrowed words first;
learned how to speak
them so they’d really,
really hurt.

So maybe she is the double
of her Da’ and she knows;
it’s a constant reminder
that she’s “Not a son though.”

©2022, H. M. Smith, all rights reserved.

*Written in response to (ig): @poetsanonymousink February 9th prompt: “Daddy Issues.”

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