Looking Back

Those men abused me,
and my father abused me,
but I loved him.

My parents have been
dead a longtime; my
feelings are numb about

But, once in a while,
something makes me
think of them.

I still love them,
I still miss them,
I still hate them.
And forgive them.

He knew. Mom knew.
Who else knew?
I didn’t.

They didn’t help me.
They didn’t speak up.
They didn’t protect me.

I am now much older, and
when I look in the mirror
I can see bits and pieces
of the good and the bad
parts of them living in me
going forward.

So, looking back doesn’t
hurt as much anymore.
But I can see self-pity
and regret looking back.

These days, I spend
more time looking forward,
less time looking back.

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