In His House

Recently, my mom told my dad that I consider myself a lesbian. (That’s how she put it. “She considers herself a lesbian.”) I’d intentionally not told my dad because of his staunch adherence to evangelical Christianity, including Bible verses like Luke 14:26. I might write about that in a more straightforward way sometime. We spent a weekend all together after the outing, and my dad said nothing about it to me.
If my imagination is correct, that’s probably beneficial.



In His House


Sometimes when I’m alone

I pretend I’m finally having the big conversation

With my dad.

The one where we finally talk about

My sin that he hates

While loving me

The sinner.

I don’t need to guess what he’d say.

I lived at home til I was 19.

That’s not quite two decades

In my dad’s house,

And it is his house.

We just lived in it.


I always end up crying


Usually in the car

But sometimes in bed

Or in the kitchen

Where I’ve said my side

Of a conversation

About me and my life and my choices

And, of course, his opinion on them.


In most of my imaginings

He says something about

His never knowing

And if I were really

That way

(I don’t think he’d  refer to me as gay)

Of course he’d know.

And then I say something about how

He didn’t know everything

And remember that time

I told him I’d been

A suicidal second grader

And he’d had no idea


Of course

The Bible plays a part

In these masochistic daydreams.

He’ll quote Paul the Apostle

So I know

What Paul in the first century AD

(And by association, probably, God)

Thinks of me.

He’ll use words like





“You have been lied to.” he will say.


“You have believed it.”



I respond with words, too.

I insist, half-yelling at my sunroof

Yes, always.



I tried. I tried, I tried..

And happy.

Finally. Finally. Finally.


He used to yell at me

To grow a backbone


In my angry imagination,

He pushes against it.


He’ll break me


He’s determined

God dammit.


The conversation ends

When I arrive

To where I’m going

Or when I’m all cried out

Or when, in my mind,

He tries to force my hand

And pushes me

To admit

Some lie

Some wrong.

Or he wants me

In my mind

To agree to try harder

To change

Because this is his house

And there are things

And choices

And behaviors

And sins

He won’t allow

In his house.



In my mind

There is pleading.

It isn’t usually Dad.


My mom pleads with him

To see reason

To not push me away.



In my mind

He is determined that

I will see his rightness.

That somehow

I have to expel Satan

And the precious woman

Who can’t wait

To have a half-adventure

Half-boring existence

With me

From my heart.

He might say that he’s sorry

That I am sad.

Then he’ll say that he’ll never apologize

For standing for righteousness.



In my mind

I am so outraged

That I call his bluff

And I walk out his door.

I don’t have to listen

To what he thinks

Is wrong with me.

I don’t have to be hurt

And pretend not to be hurt.

I don’t live in his house anymore.






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