Family History

Family History

The God of my father wore me out
With wrath and beatings
Kisses to a weathered mouth
Mixed signals from a crowded head–
It got to where it was him or me.
So I got his rifle, shot him dead.
For God, it was a good day:
He’d no longer have to watch me
See me raped by a brother
Who was drunk all the time
On self, like Bacchus, lecherous
Or Cain, who left me for dead
But didn’t complete the murder–
The family tore into me
Ripping hyenas, lions defending
But for mother, I’d not be here:
Her gods were an odd clan
Of miraculous love and sunlight
Frank of the stigmata, Mary
And her Weird Pregnancy
Mojave John, Handyman Jesus.
Even the crimes of her priests
Never made her hate– Sweet
As cough syrup, she made friends
Of natives at hunting feasts
Elders picking at deer-head meat.
Six hearts, a soul I lost on my way
I don’t mind that it hurt like hell:
Life is not a walk to regret, heaven
Is where we’re allowed to forget.

Rayn Roberts 2017



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