A Letter to Mr. Frank Lee from Yours Truly

Gabby,

your father is a good man.

 

A phrase that has been ingrained

on the sutures of my brain since birth.

A phrase my mother has repeated constantly,

in apology for my father’s rash actions,

mean words,

rude sentiments,

and lack of common sense.

 

Gabby,

your father is a good man. 

 

The night my father told me

he loved my mother out of practicality

was the night I realized dreaming was

fruitless wishing.

 

But your father is a good man.

The day my father told me

he wondered how his life would have been

without my sister or me

was the day I realized

we threw a wrench in his fantasies.

 

But your father is a good man.

The night I graduated,

 

when they called my name,

my father stood up and applauded me.

I plastered a hand to my mouth to keep from crying.

 

Maybe my father is a good man.

 

The dozens of Wawa runs my father has made,

where he has always brought me back

a pretzel and a Wawa iced tea.

 

Maybe my father is a good man.

 

The half a dozen breakfasts to Malaga

where over creamed chip beef and

three eggs over easy we discussed news

and the Holocaust.

Where my father could sober me one minute

and then say something worth tweeting

it occurred to me that:

 

My father, might, be good man.

 

The night a boy told me

I was brainwashed

for believing in things I cannot see;

for being narrow-minded and

not choosing fallacy of my own accord,

my father did not expunge his own views on me.

He was an atheist,

and he looked over at me from the driver’s side

with tears streaming down my face

telling me to hold on firm to my Christianity.

I am slowly realizing:

 

My father is a good man.

 

And the night.

over half-priced appetizers at Applebee’s

I explained how I wished

I could take away a boy’s pain

from a girl who did not love him due to his age,

my father told me, don’t even bother because

he is not working toward getting a job

that will pay for his meals,

his bills,

eventually his family—

he is making nothing of himself,

and there is no way a boy like that

deserves someone like me.

I can see why my mother thinks:

 

My father is a good man. 

 

My mother looks me in the eyes as she says:

 

Gabby,

you’ve got him wrapped around your little finger.

How do you, of all people, not see,

your father is a good man? 

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