expectations [poem]

I started learning how to fail at meeting
his expectations
before I even left the womb
an unwanted accident
a responsibility he never wanted
to hold in his arms
my mom told him it wasn’t his problem
I wasn’t his problem
she handed him pictures
of what they’d created together
of me
he left them
walking out the door
without a backward glance
free
this is how I learned to run away
before I ever learned to walk
running from the hard things is in my blood
but I’m not my father’s daughter
I won’t run and hide
from the consequences of my actions
or the hard truths
I know I was a consequence dodged
I guess fatherhood didn’t quite
meet his expectations

-poem by Larissa Lee
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