The Lodger Among Us

Papa said I love you but he never learned to show it

Papa said I love you but I never really felt it

Mama said we’re fine but I wasn’t optimistic

Mama said we’ll run but that was only geographic

Papa wanted us alone with no one in-between

Papa thought the world was dark, all devious and mean

Mama thought her strong enough to never let him hurt her

Mama cried alone when she didn’t think I saw her


Papa didn’t smile and wore jumpers inside out

Mama laughed a lot and always dressed up going out

Papa watched the sports and read the papers all day long

Papa never listened and never thought he could be wrong


Mama always had the friends and family by her side

Papa never trusted and pushed everyone aside


Papa could’ve had all the happiness in his life

Papa conjured insults behind the kindness of his wife

Mama often said when I was grown we’d move away

Mama was the reason that we made it through each day

Papa watched the neighbors come and go behind the window

Papa judged and criticized from his pulpit in the shadow

Mama always saw the good in others on the street

Mama tried to cover up his bitterness and conceit

Papa never knew that his every touch unnerved me

Papa never questioned how his actions could revile me

Mama often said that her husband was oppressing

Mama always said that my coming was her blessing

Papa tried to hide from all the issues of his childhood

Papa failed to notice how they crept into my childhood

Mama tried her best to be Mother, friend and father

Mama wouldn’t let him be the reason we would falter


Mama was a hurricane, a pioneer, a fighter

Papa was a frightened man, a loner, an outsider


Papa thought through silence he’d be able to control us

Papa couldn’t see that through his silence he had lost us

Mama once believed that when you married you must stay there

Mama learned with time there’s just so much you have to bear

Papa didn’t understand the consequence of actions

Papa never thought about the force of our reactions


Papa was just someone else who lived inside my house

Papa was just someone else- neither father, friend or spouse



5 thoughts on “The Lodger Among Us

  1. What a heartbreaking read and sadly, a reflection of what goes on behind too many closed doors. Courageous write.

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