Who was it who promised me
I’d be loved forever?

There were obfuscations many, and
then blatant lies about destiny, because

I was born to forlorn orphans
from a true hug and
a real kiss — mostly

a marriage of inconvenience,
desperation for a place to rest
with respectability, and

she thought
children could be loved

and he supposed that
children were a necessary evil
for respectability, and

he loved the baby until
it became aware enough
as an independent person
to question his omnipotence

and then there was an
endless barrage of criticism

and the child
was loved by the Mother
and hated by the Father, until

the failure they both knew
was successful again in
familiarity like resting in
the kind exhaustion of defeat.