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  • Papa said, “Maarega, torega, heavy beating karega!”
    And raised his stiff palm, threatening.
    Two girls squealing, scurrying, giggling
    For when Papa said this we knew he was kidding,
    We knew it was safe and we were just playing.

    “Maarega, torega, heavy beating karega!”
    Papa never said this when the real beatings came.
    Not the black-eyed, tooth-breaking kind of maim
    But the normal spanking, free of belts and canes.
    Red handprints and sore egos were all that remained.

    And then something changed.

    “Maarega, torega, heavy beating karega!”
    Is nothing but a distant memory now.
    A divorce and eleven years later I’m wondering how
    It all fell apart and why he would allow
    Himself to become so selfish, so heartless and mean.
    He seldom wrote and rarely called and now it seems
    He doesn’t care at all. Where did the love go?
    Did I do something bad? Did I deserve for him to throw
    Me out of his house both times I went to see him?
    Traveling thousands of miles only to finish in
    Tears of sadness and anger and frustration?
    When all I ever asked for was legitimization?
    The only thing I ask from him is to recognize me as his daughter
    So that I don’t keep wandering the earth, a bastard without a father.
    I’ve argued, I’ve pleaded, I’ve screamed and I’ve cried.
    Used logic and reason to convince him, I’ve tried
    Bargaining, I’ve done it all. But all he gives me are excuses, excuses
    And I’m stuck here bearing the pain of a father that’s useless.
    He just doesn’t give a shit and there’s nothing I can do.
    “I learned my lesson, you can’t make someone love you.”
    I cry to myself as all hope crumbles and falls,
    “It kills me, it breaks me, it’s the heaviest beating of all.”
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