Stand Up

He said, “Stand up”

After knocking him down

“Boy look me in the eye”

Afraid to make any sound

He knew better than to cry

“You best respect me

And be grateful too

For all I’ve ever done”

The hollow words echoed

In the ears of a beaten son

He watched as siblings

Found their way

With the help of a doting dad

And yet he knew

The times would come

He’d feel the wrath of things gone bad

He then grew into his own one day

And he caught his father’s fist

The anger swelled and broadened

But dad was too weak to resist

The boy now man

Struck a blow

To the man at whose table he sat

The father staggered

And shouted out

“I raised you better than that”

The boy now man

Stood his ground

And said, “You’re reaping what you sowed

You raised me up in fearfulness

But I’d like us to live in hope”

But the father pushed back

And hated this son

For what he showed him to be

He refused to listen

And find a way

For both to live strong and free

The family bonds were fraying

For lack of empathy’s ear

And on bended knee the son would dream

Of a life free of struggle and fear

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