Alexandria Villegas: “Ghazal for a Deadbeat Dad”
Tomorrow's Voices Today
Ghazal for a Deadbeat Dad
You held us in your arms when we were small.
You bent down and kissed our foreheads. You were our dad.
You took us to the park and pushed us on the swings.
You held us tight so we wouldn’t fall. You were our dad.
You played with us in the lowlight of our room.
You made our teddy bears talk and jump around. You were our dad.
You took us out of school for a day at Disneyland.
You lead us on rides and we had a magical time. You were our dad.
You also gave us ramen and Banquet Meals for dinner.
You got steak for you and Mom. You were our dad.
You pushed my brothers to the floor and hurled the dishes.
You punched a hole in the wall. You were our dad.
You screamed at my mother and made us cry.
You made us hide in the back room closet out of fear. You were our dad.
You made my mother cry and feel like she was worthless.
You cheated on her. You were our dad.
You left us alone to fend for ourselves.
You almost never paid child support. You were our dad.
You never even call to wish us Happy Birthday.
You’d rather start another family with her. You’re not our dad.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello, my name is Alexandria Villegas. I’m an undergraduate student at Woodbury University pursuing a major in Filmmaking and a minor in Professional Writing. I grew up and currently live in Bellflower, California, with my family: my mother and my three siblings. In my free time, I enjoy reading and writing, drawing, listening to music, and playing video games. I love to write because it allows me to creatively express myself with others and truly reflect upon who I am and the state of the world around me. I feel that writing is a mirror, whatever you hold up to it is reflected along its surface, be it society, an object, a person, or the self. Writing can yield the truths we hold within ourselves, if only we care to delve deep down.
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