I’m Supposed To…

Iamage of pocket watch

I’m supposed to love you
After all you were my father
I’m supposed to be your legacy
After all I bear your name

But I don’t know, you see
Because there are things that I’ve seen
Within the eye of my mind
That just won’t seem to fade away
And there other things that I wish that would stay
But they are in a perpetual state
Of always running away
Like the sound of your voice
Or even your face
When I look in the mirror
It’s like reaching across time and space
But I can’t remember
Whose face is it that I see?

I’m supposed to love you
After all you were my father
I’m supposed to be your legacy
After all I bear your name

Maybe
I’m supposed to hate you
Because you hurt my mother
You battered and bruised her
You used and abused her
All the while
Telling her you love her like no other
You forced her to cover up your sins
With your makeup
So nobody would ever see
Your inner clown expressed outwardly
The joke was on them
I bet that’s what you thought
But really the joke was on her
She’s the one that got caught
Caught in a pattern of unceasing degradation
And lack of self-worth
It isn’t a pattern you had to start
But it’s a pattern you surely cemented for her

I’m supposed to
I’m supposed to remember you
But the last words I have
Are words etched onto a magnetic tape
That has long since worn out its welcome
Mangled around the heads of a prehistoric tape player
Your voice is like an echo
Whose source I can no longer see
Not since that day in 1989
When the hands of the clock ceased to tick
For a brief second of eternity
And you told me that you love me
But I’ve always wondered
In what world are these words true
When etched into my memory
Are your sentiments on my cerebral palsy
Thinking that I was ill terminally

I’m supposed to know how you died
Whether your brother-in-law ended you in a petty grudge
Or whether it was suicide
But it exists as a question, a gaping wound
Like the one in the back of your head

I’m supposed to love you
After all you were my father
I’m supposed to be your legacy
After all I bear your name

But most of all
I’m supposed to know how I feel

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