“In My Image”

“In My Image”
© 2012 by Michael L. Utley
 
Father said
I have seen you in my dreams
My alabaster boy
My pristine son
Marked neither with scar nor blemish
The innocence of childhood aglow
Upon your brow like the light of
A thousand suns
Your mind untouched
By fear and the lies of men
Your future the color of
Quicksilver and autumn wheat
 
Father said
And so I must put my mark upon you
For it is my right as your father
To shape you in my image
To lay a path before you
From which you must never stray
Thus sealing your destiny in the book of life
According to my will
 
Father said
For because I am of lowly station
I shall make you ashamed of your station
For because I am uneducated
I shall make you ignorant of vital truths
For why should you, my son
Benefit from an enlightened mind
When I have not
 
Father said
For because I am selfish
I shall make you want
For because I am angry
I shall make you timid
For why should you, my son
Benefit from the ability to love yourself
When I have not
 
Father said
For because I am unstable
I shall make you distrustful
For because I am violent
I shall make you afraid
For why should you, my son
Benefit from a happy childhood
When I have not
 
Father said
For because I am controlling
I shall make you powerless
For because I am abusive
I shall make you hate yourself
For why should you, my son
Benefit from healthy relationships
When I have not
 
Father said
For you are mine
And I control all things
And you will never be free
Of me
For why should you, my son
Benefit from a loving father
When I have not
 
Father said
I have seen you in my dreams
My alabaster boy
My pristine son
Therefore you shall have none
And I will be there with you
Until the end of your days
For why should you, my son
Benefit from life
When I have not

7 thoughts on ““In My Image”

  1. I had to step back and absorb this one for a while, it’s so emotional, I can’t actually articulate. My head keeps saying, “but you’re not him, no way, not a chance, not even maybe” and I don’t know you, but I know this and it’s important.

    This is excellent poetry, you’re an incredible writer, I’m deeply moved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Juliette, not only for your kind words regarding my writing, but for your compassion. It’s taken me a lifetime so far to break away from my dad’s chains, and it’s still an every day battle. You’re right: I’m not him, and I try every day to see myself for who I really am. I guess that makes me a survivor of sorts. Although this piece is incredibly dark and ends on a very gloomy note, it was good to articulate this stuff. I wasn’t even going to post it on my blog, to be honest. I didn’t think anyone would care for it, being as incredibly personal as it is. My dad’s been gone for four years now. He didn’t win. I’m still here and I’m still moving forward a step at a time. Writing helps so much…and so does having caring readers such as yourself. Thanks again for such a kind comment. Means a lot to me. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The high stylistic nature of this poem, the clarity of the message and the softness of presentation has touched and found a place in my heart. It came up, one word and one stanza after the other, like a clear stream of water wading through a thick forest. O I love it. Keep writing, Mike my friend. 🤗💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Lamittan. Your comment really warmed up my day (it’s currently 28f here in frigid southwest Colorado, USA). This poem was a hard one to write–painful stuff–but when it was finished, I felt a sense of completion, a step forward of sorts. My dad was still alive when I wrote this (he died in 2017) but he never read any of my writing, ever. He wouldn’t have understood this even if he’d read it, and would have denied everything. It’s still difficult for me to read this piece all these years later, but it was important for me at the time to get it on paper. Your lyrical review of this poem is gorgeous, by the way. I love the symbolism of the clear stream in the thick forest. I’m so glad you liked this one, Lamittan. Thanks for your constant support and encouragement, my friend! 🙂

      Like

      1. Oh my dear Mike, first of all, may dad’s soul rest in piece. It’s true… sometimes it costs us all the effort it takes to unveil evil, and the relief that comes with it is overwhelming. You’re a great poet and writer, i hope others see it too. It’s my pleasure that you liked my review. Keep writing, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

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