The Hollow Affronts, Internal

by Johnny Dantonio

It's a tough thing to become a father,

a contradiction;

guiding a child to avoid the things

that you know about so well.

This is the forgotten recognition of what it is to be daddy;

spending years,


revisiting your remorse,

without telling of it:

actions prompting your scold

because of their familiarity,

revealing that of your own past,

which you hate;



of ugliness, intramural.

But the process is a cleansing,

purging and reckoning,

where the places below left barren,

the hollow affronts, internal,

they warm

and then dissolve,

a natural healing deserved

for looking out on the world

and, without hesitation,

acknowledging it is no longer yours.