I will be a new threshing instrument
with many sharp teeth.
I will tear my enemies apart,
making chaff of mountains.

I will toss them into the air,
And the wind will blow them all away;
A whirlwind will scatter them.”      
  —Isaiah 41: 15-17

My father is dying,

will be dead by summer.

You will probably hear of his death

before you hear of his sickness.

This is the way of our family.

The secrets we carry will feast 

on our souls until the grave,

and death will provide no respite.

My father will be dead by summer.

The doctors call the sickness cancer

of prostate, bone.

Only I know what it really is:

Generations of wrath stored up

in one body, in one centralized hating place

anger curdling his blood like milk.

I come home late one night and find my father

seated at the kitchen table, TV blaring. 

I make him look me in the eye.

The same steel blues that meet my own gaze

when I am brave enough to look in the mirror.

I state my concern for my sister, 

someone he victimized less,

and he cannot look at me for more than 5 seconds.

My father drops our eye contact, 

shatters it like the porcelain innocence of my childhood

as he flees, rushes to bed.

I am a repulsive reminder of his chains.

I am the mirror he doesn’t want to look in.

My father will be dead by summer.

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