Here I am, a baby, not even a day old,
And yet, since my conception nine months ago,
I was unwanted, an "accident", a product
Of partying and carelessness.
To my mother I am a consequence
And my father...well, he doesn't care.
My mother and my father weren't married anyway,
And so, even before I was born, I didn't have a father.
I don't really have a mother, either,
As I live with my grandparents
So that she can finish high-school without worrying
About me, of course, the cause of all this stress.
I'm loved, and to a toddler, that's all that matters.
My first day of preschool is when I discover
That something is missing from my life,
That for a baby to be born there must be a mommy...
And a daddy, and I don't have one.
When I ask my mommy where he's gone,
She becomes angry with me and tells me
To go away, and leave her alone,
And I don't understand.
To my teachers, I appear happy and "well-adjusted";
I know this because it says so on my report card,
But my insides are a stormy sea, boiling with confusion
And anger and resentment. Is it all my fault?
Am I really such a bother to my mother?
Did she want me? I know my father didn't.
The school activity is a family picnic.
My mother cannot come, she's working
(Is it to get away from me?)
I come with my grandparents, and while
I know one of the girls and three of the boys
Have come with their only parent,
I still feel a stab of pain as I look at the perfect sets
Of child and mother and father,
And feel alone.
The battle for acceptance has begun,
Those who can play sports the best are popular,
Which is why I'm not popular.
Grandfather died from heart issues and
Grandmother has arthritis, and Mother's always working,
So no one played baseball with me
On long summer evenings
Or kicked a soccer ball around with me.
There's more of us this year, who live with
Grandparents or have single parents.
Some of us are "well-adjusted" but the majority
Of us are "troubled" students and we don't do
Our homework because some of us are shuttled from
Father's house to mother's house...
Or in my case my days are spent caring for
An almost blind grandmother, as my mother
Works eighty hours a week to pay medical bills.
She never re-married, never trusting man again.
No one else sees this. All they see is a kid with worn clothes,
That are years behind in fashion, and sneakers with holes
In the toes. They don't see the inner turmoil or
The tear stained pillow.
I'm going to be a...a Father.
How do I be one? What do I do?
I never had one.
I just hope I will be a better father than my own.