Being Nice


I was raised in a house where we were all polite
where we all loved each other all the time
and nothing was ever wrong
and nothing was ever said that wasn’t…
My father went to work one day
and never came back
nobody told me anything
nobody said where he went
until a very long time after
my mother never used the word “dead”
I guess that was another thing that wasn’t quite…
that list was long
but later she married jim
now he is your father
but he wasn’t
he’s your father and he loves you
but he didn’t
and you should love him
but I couldn’t
not for any reason exactly
just because
he wasn’t really very lovable
he was just jim
just someone who showed up and stayed
I suppose it wouldn’t have been acceptable to say and I never did,
“now that he has married (us) you
he isn’t funny and nice
he doesn’t bring stuffed animals
now he begrudges every toy
every gift at christmas or birthdays
every new pair of school shoes
every mouthful of dinner
now he is just
a foreboding presence in the house..”
I didn’t say that of course
I didn’t even think it
no small child would have
they just accept
that they aren’t allowed
not entitled to feel
accept what became the unwritten
rules of the house
no laughing, no running, no playing, no talking
shhh jim is trying to rest
jim’s (hungover) not feeling well
chores chores chores
he drank all the time and that was bad
but we never talked about it
he yelled all the time and that was bad
but I couldn’t be angry
that wasn’t….
I got older and I got out
and realized that this huge brooding person
was really a very small shrunken rodent-being
who could easily be cowed
as most bullies are
especially if you kicked his beer crutch out from under him
and I didn’t have to love him
I didn’t even like him
I didn’t even know him
and didn’t want to
my feelings
denied and displaced and bound like lotus feet for so long
grew back
and I keep reminding myself
that they are not always
but they are real and I can feel them
or at least
write them



About chimerapoet

I write. I write a lot. A. LOT. There are times I am half blind with a sentence ricocheting off the walls of my stupid, cant be shut off to save my life, brain. I am miserable until I get it down on paper. Punch it up a bit. Usually cross out half of it. And then breathe. Relax. Only to do it all again..... But I just thought that was me. How I am. Not a writer....noooo...not me. Writers are.....writing people. People Who Write. REALLY write. Write things that matter. All grown up very important things. I am just a scribbler of sorts. And I was/am content with that....if it's true, well then....a scribbler am I. Until the thought wormed its way in to my brain (the furtive sneaky bitch) that maybe...just maybe...that is writing. My style. My strange way. But....still writing. So here I am at the dance. Not sure I know any of the moves and the music is entirely mine. But.....only one way to find out. Would you care to join me?
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4 Responses to Being Nice

  1. ejfrostuk says:

    Painful. Heart-wrenching. And beautiful. Very well done.

    • chimerapoet says:

      thank you so much. this one was tough, the inclination to hide or to not speak is still strong. writing in this case is a catharsis of sorts. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. It means a lot.

  2. angi says:

    Oh so much I and a smaller person can pick out from this. So much so close that I cannot put into words. Am reminded of a man who called himself uncle but wasn’t… etc x

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