Father, you have done me Wrong, as ever Parent does to Child. Father, you have done me Wrong, for My own Good–where is my Good in it? Is Guilt the Good? Is Silence, maybe? To hold my Tongue, to Honor, to Obey? To be beaten down, by a World that vents it Pain on the Weak? I should not say Mother was a better Parent–I could not Be, without You, who I am, the Me I value. I was Built by You–am I Perverse, then, to Fail aloud? Is it Heresy to be From you, yet Broken? To be yet Broken, From you? Father, you have done me WRONG: I cannot say I will be a better Father–I cannot say I have been any better a Son.
Borne to you though not born to you, an adopted child is like any child but more so: of you, yet not your flesh; your ideals, yet not in your mind; perhaps your will, yet not bound by your perspective nor driven by your life; confronting shared experiences, but with a different strength, at once greater & lesser–& a neurologically “disordered” child lives in your world, yet does not know it in your way.( For this I am contemptible or pitiable to those “rightly ordered”.)
Is it fickle fate or outrageous fortune, or was it something deeper still, my origin so far from the “reflexive obeisance” you wrote into your history, described as a mark of your heritage? My heritage is not only yours, & the misery that haunts it & the lessons we must not forget–but also that of the guerrilla–the little war. The guerrillero fights such a war–in every way, at every turn, with all at his disposal. For home, for truth, against invasion, against oppression–against the father or against the self, a choice the men there make, unaware; & some beat into their own children: choose the father. Not so different from you, then, yet... if not beaten down we rise up. My blood runs hotter than I can bare to hold in; I vent heat in fiery passion, blazing bright in the world. For all my differences & all my faults, & all my alien being, I am what you wanted, & what you feared: I am you–now stronger than you ever imagined being. Stronger still in knowing my weaknesses. Strongest yet in knowing yours, & in seeing them the same.
We best know others in relation to ourselves, we best know ourselves in relation to others. You look at others as still images, reliefs, as frozen, but we of the future are living, & those of the past, the dead, still recede as much from the present. To see us cast in stone is to cast yourself immobile. To look back at the past you turn away from the future, to hold it you abandon the present–but a mirror can allow us to see behind while facing forward. To view the living past & living present & living future at once, look with a mirror. To see like unto infinity, regard one mirror in another.
I want us to be better, to be a better son; you need only let me–but obsessed with being a better father( than you had or than you were, I wonder?), thinking to learn from others’ failures, you only learnt their flaws, & did what you thought the opposite–all the same. Only a mirror can show a true reverse; & another show it right way ’round. If you would do better than was done you, you should have looked in a mirror to start. I know others well, to know myself, & I know myself well, to know others. You taught me so much–can I not teach you to let me be a mirror, to show your childhood’s reverse? To be a mirror too, & reflect yourself right way ’round? But you must let pass the images of fathers, sons; of you, me, them... So you can know you, as only you may. As only I know me.
Forgive me that I fail, father, to help you know your life. As I know the fire inside me cries out to fight for a better world. As I know I fear to leave you–I move to fight rejection, the insidious force tearing this world apart. Can I reject you & still be of sound heart? Forgive me that I cannot abide, forgive me that I cannot be still. I cannot reject you, but I cannot change or move you; NO MAN can another–that’s a lie of a twisted mirror. But the better son would not be one obedient or heeding. I cannot any more reject me, as the world does, as I have so long for you.
But, forgive me, father, for you have sinned in the darkness, & I have blazed & by mine own light seen; & if your will knows not your sins as I know mine in every reflection–I cannot carry your burdened soul with mine into the light. And until someone rights this wrong, until fathers turn from their fathers, look to their sons to lead them; men who would live True always will, & always must, flee from the lands of their fathers–sore alone.