My Debt To Daddy

Dull orange-brown coats everything

Greasy, grimy drippings down the wall

Hair coating the floor, the counter, the sink

There is something distorted below the lights

I am afraid to breathe


I had a debt I could not pay

Dad had a room he would not clean

I made the proposal

He accepted almost without hearing

It didn’t matter to him


Now I am stuck, but I know

It is the right thing to do

I spray and scrub and clear away the grunge

Turning dinginess and filth

Into white and sparkling again


I work hard and do my best

I see the symbolism

As the slate is wiped clean

So is the surface under the light

And I realize it is a mirror


My reflection and my conscience

Staring back at me

Whole again

Now, I am happy

And that is what repaid my debt to Daddy


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