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New Poem: “where is my father?”

where is my father? hiding behind mother –
never seen – never heard –

what is a man? i don’t know if i ever saw one –
i see ghosts in armour –

an invisible screen separates genders
no one understands but everyone
perpetuates –

with every word we draw up new boundaries
new separations of concerns –
with the opposite intentions –

where is my father? waiting for my mother
to decide whether he can speak to me –
or expecting her to do it?

what am i to him?
an extension of him and mother –
not a living thing with a history of her own
separate from his and hers –

what am i?
not an addendum to someone else’s history –
it is a preposterous thought –
i am a woman – perhaps that is why
my father is such a vague figure –
rarely there – and never really there –

what am i to him?
a creature he will never really understand –
perhaps he expects mother to impart wisdom,
and if that is so
that is why he never understood anything –

i stare across time and place –
i neither can nor will see his face –
he chose to leave my life,
now i choose to leave him be –

where is my father?
hiding in the corner of a memory,
behind my mother –

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