I loved you,
though you were a drowning man,
with cannonballs noosed around your ankles
and a whiskey bottle barely in your grasp,
rushing to depths too black to follow.
I loathed you,
though some days still held sunshine,
with a smile beheld on the blue moon
and a flurry of fists and “**** yous” on the rest
bulldozed my jaw and heart black and blue.
I loathed that I loved you,
though time has turned my memories,
with intense games of Horse on cracked concrete
and hours watching football in defiance of womanly threats,
more favored recollections replacing all others.
I love you, Dad
though I loathed you, a drowning man.
With scars still remaining like tallies on prison walls,
I’m sorry I didn’t throw you a line
before the undertow took you away.