worse than the fighting
were those times following a violent scene
when my father
offered his hand in friendship

after the hullabaloo—
my mother shouting, my sister crying—
within an hour
it could happen—
an offer of peace

not a direct offer
rather a nervous suggestion
that there was no reason why we could not be friends—
how could he know
that I had learned to enjoy this war
and found it preferable–
its clean lines of battle—
to an uneasy truce?

how could he know
that dodging blows and trading insults
had became for me
(if not for anyone else) a sport?
how could he know
I was touched by his remorse
his desolation
and found it too intense to bear?

 

Stuart Dodds

 

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