My father did not lead me into grace.
When I was three I cut my fingers
on the blade of a butcher knife.
He said, "He is a true Italian."
By six he ruled me with his fists.
At fourteen I knocked him down.
As I stood over him I said, "Never again."
And though he's died, and I've grown older,
I do not forget, and my forgiveness
is a cold finger on the pulse of memory.