Like Father, Like Daughter

A cautionary tale…

He’s waging a war that he never will win.

For the casualty is his own soul.
But the triage list doesn’t end there.
It is all who accept his control.

Bitterness eats him alive like a cancer,
And he feeds the cancer with glee.
He spreads the disease to those he would touch.
And today, he offered it to me.

Challenged to fight, I wasn’t afraid.
I was ready to take on his guile.
But then I remembered something that gave me pause:
His daughter’s sweet and innocent smile.

I was warned the fight would cost me dear
Even though I could probably win.
But every war has its share of collateral damage.
And that is why I finally gave in.

For the weapon he weilds in this particular fight
Is the one I love more than my life.
He wants to cut out my heart (what little is left),
But he would make his own daughter the knife.

What makes a man so sick and so sickly depraved?
His own parents disowned him long ago.
Not speaking to them for near twenty years
Surely has made his cancer grow.

Twenty years ago he tried to share his disease:
He told his daughter he bought her for a dish.
With his lie he wanted to stifle her own mother’s love.
And for years he got his own wish.

Her eyes were first opened as a young little thing
When her own step-mother beat her down.
Physically and emotionally abused to a pulp
She decided it was time to leave town.

Into her mother’s loving arms she fled
Almost escaping his deadly snare.
But he pulled her back in with money and lies.
For his sickness he needed to share.

It was during this time that I met this dear girl,
Though a woman she wanted to become.
It was during this time she told me of how
Her father was abusing her numb.

I listened in horror at the stories she shared
Of a childhood raked through the fire.
Like the times that they teased their poor little girl
For singing in her middle-school choir.

Try as I might to make the pain go away,
I found myself in the middle of a war:
A war between this man and his hatred for love;
A war filled with her guts and my gore.

Though an angel to me, I was weak in my love
And I treated her, sadly, less than such.
So the cancer took hold and burrowed deep in her soul
Immune to love’s tender touch.

As her quest to discover herself pressed on
I found myself clearly in the way.
For how could I support a woman who only
Knows how to submit and obey?

Meanwhile her father made her feel like the trash
That is thrown out with yesterday’s news.
And that poor girl in her fragile state,
This sick man continued to abuse.

Until the blame for her misery fell into a line.
And that line pointed squarely at me.
Thought I share a small part for the pain she’s endured,
I bore all of the blame for her misery.

The poor girl is the victim of a cancerous man
Who teaches hate and bitterness and scorn.
And despite my best efforts to reconcile with my love,
From my side she’s been violently torn.

Like a puppet on a string, she dances to his tune,
Causing pain and destruction in her wake.
But little does she know she’s fighting his war,
And both of our hearts are bound to break.

Identity is not found is singing another’s tune,
And the excuse that they’re blood doesn’t work.
But like father, like daughter, she embraces his disease,
While her step-mother chases me with a smirk.

And he passes his disease onto his daughter with grace.
She accepts it without making a sound.
I throw myself on my sword for the battle to end,
And I float on the tide, nearly downed.

I want nothing more than her eternal happiness,
A wish I fear will never arrive.
For today I learned that she has embraced his disease,
And I’m afraid she will not survive.

Blood is no excuse to poison your soul
With conflict and venomous hate.
Forgiveness and reconciliation is the only cure,
But for her, it may already be too late.

Two years of darkness she has chosen to abide.
Two years of just wandering lost.
Without closure, without a word, without forgiveness, without love,
Two years come at a precious cost.

And that cost that I speak of is a balm for the soul,
A cure for the cancer that grows.
Yet the cancer is in her, like father, like daughter,
And its tragic, but that’s just how life goes.

Reconcile your differences with those who offend.
Don’t burn bridges with those who love you.
Don’t trust blood – because it’s meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
Blood isn’t a magical glue.

It won’t hold your soul together, it may tear it apart
By bitterness and hatred and spite.
It won’t teach you a thing about being yourself.
It won’t give you your wings to take flight.

Like father, like daughter, the cancer has spread.
She has chosen the dark path instead.
I only pray that someday she will square things with me
Before it’s too late and we’re both dead.

Soundtrack to this poem: “Desmond & Penny” by Michael Giacchino

Crying Girl by chozoWarrior
“Crying Girl” by chozoWarrior  (

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