by: Mary Harper


You were hard to talk about; it was a punch to the face.

It stung just like salt to the wound; you gave me mine

I was a fragile soul awaiting to be mended but you never came to give me the stitches that you said you’d give

I needed to heal properly

Instead I was left with an intoxicated past and emotions that show physically.

Daddy you’re my demon that gets the best of me when I say your name.

I have cried a thousand times

My whole life I wanted you to be the man that was supposed to protect me

Instead I found comfort and protection in other men

Used and abused by the ones you were supposed to protect me from but you turned out being one of those guys to my beautiful mother

You left her with me. You left her with him; you left her with us.

We were supposed to change you to become a man but you remained a boy.

You were absorbed by youth just like the sponge absorbs water; there was no ringing you out because you’ll never be clean.

I can smell your choice of cologne and I can even see it. The aroma of those who pass by me with a stumble in their words and in their strut. They’re one of you and I find myself saying “daddy is that you”

Your name lingers in my mind just like the cigarette smoke waves in the air; studio is your brand and you’re cancerous; you gave me lung cancer; it’s hard to breathe when I cry and scream your name

14 years have gone by, you know nothing other than my name and age and that I’ve hit the stage without the guitar you promised and the voice that cries for your attention.

I couldn’t be daddy’s little girl because maybe I should’ve been a son just like your little boy; grown up and educated.

One of us had to turn out like you and it had to be me; oh how my heart breaks when I fail because I know I am becoming you. I got your looks and your mindset; this inherited dimple and winning smile doesn’t fool anyone, just like it never fooled me.

My prayers have been answered but unfortunately not all of them. Your name echoes through a long empty tunnel and

I know you’re on the other end remaining silent just like my adolescent years I wasted waiting for that knock on my door. Our adolescent years you wasted when you could’ve made a change. Now it’s too late, we know the story and we understand; you were the joker dressed as batman.

Daddy, this is me; this is all you. This is my healing from my wounded knee; this is scar tissue