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Sins of Our Fathers

In hindsight
I suspect my dad silently hoped,
secretly conceived,
vicariously needed his dream
I would become a multi-talented musician.

He said, No.
behind my mother’s gentle apron
strings of soft-voiced disappointment,
but also hidden within unspoken fear
of Catholic influence
when I was invited to join
The Vienna Boy’s Choir.

I was too young.
I would be missed–the farm was an absorbing enterprise.
I wasn’t ready.
They weren’t ready, yet,
to let go.

But, then offers of guitar
and piano
and trombone lessons,
and choir
and worship music leader
soon followed,
as if from straight white watered
washed
and lied patriots
blessed by prize-giving patriarchs
who listened barely long enough
to hear I was marketably good
as an entertainer,
a professional,
not just another deep soul singer
or deeply soiled male dancer.

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