Most of us hand off traumas
like traditions, the bloody, mud-crusted baton
a father bats his son with
before the boy takes it running off into the dark
future. The pain of being human
rains down fire unto the third, the fourth
generation. But Dad—
something happened with you.
Somehow your body tented me, a fort
whose roof caught all the scalding rain
and the ice of your father, the trash
bags he made you pack after graduation
when he kicked you out the final time. Somehow
you brushed the muck from this baton
and kissed my face, saying—run.