Writer’s Note: this poem was originally published in the August 2021 ‘Family’ issue of PopShot magazine.
My Father Was An Athlete
He ran out of the maternity ward so fast,
that he got to the finish line before
I even opened my eyes for the first time.
And every man that came after him
Treat us like it was a race, but
the loser was always my mother.
My therapist says this metaphor
is not healthy. But the thing is
my father really was an athlete, he played
professional football for a small
division Portuguese team, so maybe
my mother was the pitch, and I was
a goal in the back of the wrong net.
Maybe instead of a hat trick I was
a foul, a red card, a stretcher
at half time. I don’t really know much
about football, or about parenthood.
But either way, my father was offside.