To Broaden My Perceptions

I don't recall my hand being held by anyone,
To make me feel safe and protected.
In fact I was made to feel I was in the way...
If it wasn't demanded that I'd take out the garbage,
Or carry ten gallon cans of oil to 'fetch'...
To heat the oil burners in a home I left,
When I was eighteen years old.
I even gave myself birthday parties.
And 'pretended' my parents attended,
Any of my school graduations.
Even though they didn't.
But that didn't stop my love for them.

To then be accused,
I was abandoning 'my' responsibilities.
When I declared I had 'had' it!
I was the oldest child.
Not anybody's father.
I had already grown older and wiser beyond my years.
To know what being abandoned meant.
I just got tired of being used.
So I left to let the military do that!
And glad I did to broaden my perceptions.

by Lawrence S. Pertillar

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