"Broken Boy"

by Sheila Ault

~ I wrote this for my Brother, Charlie ~

HE CONTROLS THE BROKEN BOY
HIS WORDS CUTTING AND ABUSIVE~
PETTY, SEF-SERVING, INDIGNANT,
INTRUSIVE

TENDER-HEARTED AND CHILD-LIKE
THE BROKEN BOY; NOW A MAN
DESPERATE FOR ACCEPTANCE
FROM HIS DEAR OLD DAD

OH WOUNDED CHILD, THE PERILOUS DOOR
LEFT WIDE OPEN
EASILY CONTROLLED ~ HE REALS YOU IN
HE KNOWS YOU ARE BROKEN

A FAMILIAR DANCE; COMMENTING ON THE WEATHER
THE BROKEN BOY SMILES; THINKING TO HIMSELF,
"THIS TIME IT'S GOING TO BE BETTER"

AT THE FLICK OF A WRIST~ HE STARTS POINTING HIS FINGER,
LOOKING DOWN HIS NOSE... HIS EYES EVIL; AS THEY LINGER

"YOU'RE WORTHLESS AND UNDESERVING!"
"WHY CAN'T YOU BE DIFFERENT?" "SO MANY EXAMPLES
OF FINE YOUNG MEN."
HE NAMES ATLEAST TEN

THE BOY'S SMILE FADES ~ REMINDED
HE'S INDEED BROKEN
HIS EYES SEARCH- FOR THE FLOOR
CHOKING BACK ALL EMOTION

HE SIGHS AND LIFTS HIS HEAD; QUIET AND WEARY
"DAD, I'M SORRY, I'LL TRY MUCH HARDER."
"I LOVE YOU DAD." "YOU'RE RIGHT, I WISH
I COULD BE SMARTER."

THE BROKEN BOY GATHERS HIMSELF
HE FEELS THE STING
HIS FATHER'S SMILE - RELENTLESS AND TAUNTING

"SEE YOU 'ROUND DAD."
BROKEN AND WOUNDED CHILD
LOOKING BACK ONE LAST TIME
"I LOVE YOU DAD."
WITH A SMILE

HE STANDS CONVINCED,
"I'VE TALKED SENSE INTO THAT BOY!"
HOW SAD ~ HOW VAIN ~
HOW MANY LIVES... HE'S DESTROYED

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