• Serena Heddell

The Farther the Father

For years and years, I’ve been dogged around by you.

You’re a horrid handler, by the way.

All the times you’ve tied me to the fence and told me to “sit” and “stay” while turn-

ing away and leaving for weeks on end and then suddenly remembering my existence.


It took the biggest steps of my life to notice how innocently hopeful I was.

You said you would help anyway you could and would help me pay for college.

Now you’re saying that you legally aren’t required, which you’re correct.


It took you refusing to help us with one form for me to chew myself loose from the whipping post you tied me to all those months ago.

Even the old, splintering, wood post smiled and cheered me on as I broke free, tears fall-

ing gracefully down my rugged face.


That night, I had to nastily navigate through the settlements and your messages,

not even a call

I screamed and cried as my dog dogged around me, though I will always be a better handler.

Tchaikovsky playing blissfully in the background as I grunt angrily at my phone screen.


You said you would be there.

You said you wanted to be a part of my story.

You said you wanted to be in the biographies you said they would write about me.

You said you wanted everyone to know that you’re a proud father.


Hopes are like glass, so fragile and so beautiful, you’re a mallet.

I don’t want you to be a part of my story anymore.

I am done with trying to gorilla glue the glass pieces back together.

I’ve been tied to that post for so long.

I can make it with, or without your help.


I’ll always remember all the forgotten birthdays, the yelling matches, the pain.

I’ll always remember the good times too.

But I am done with getting my hopes up for you.


Time ticks on and you’re still not there, you were never there.

Your alleged love ricochets off of me into a vast oblivion.

I’ve learned to accept that gorilla glue can only beat mallets

when the foundation is stable and you leave the glass alone.


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