I Forgive My Dad

by Big Bruiser Dope Boy

I forgive my dad

for not being there

when I had trouble falling asleep

and wanted him there

but he left and went back down the hall

before I could fall asleep


I forgive my dad

for not acting on his love

when I needed him

because the world was strange and new

and I didn’t have the tools

to deal with it


I forgive my dad

for going on a date with his wife

when I had one night to see him

because the flight was delayed

and there was just the one night

and they hired a babysitter


I forgive my dad

for standing by while bad things happened

when I was defenseless and scared

because he needed to be cared for

by a person who didn’t want

to care for me


I forgive my dad

for being a child whose parents died

when he was very young

and left him in a strange and new place

that he didn’t have the tools

to deal with


I forgive my dad

for postponing or canceling his yearly trips

when I was a teenager in a faraway city

and anticipation was

a war across earth

that left buildings empty


I forgive myself

for my dad not being there

when I needed him

because he couldn’t be there

because he couldn’t forgive himself

for someone not being there for him


I forgive my dad

for never forgiving himself

I forgive myself

for not forgiving my dad soon enough

because now

is soon enough

Big Bruiser Dope Boy's first full-length poetry collection is available from CLASH Books.

Photograph: BBDB