We were about to move
And he said we needed to paint the garage
He didn’t explain why
but he never does
I still feel the burns on my back and shoulders
even though I was sheltered from
the sun by that same garage wall that burned me as
I held that stained roller above my head
how did those scuff marks get that high up?
why did he think this was a good idea?
what was the point of this when I could have been inside?
Not layering paint and pain over that garage wall that did nothing but sit there
it didn’t even catch the buyer’s eyes
and why did he have to leave the door open to the judging eyes of the street?
I wish my dad would explain things to me more
He expects me to just get it
just get why I can’t focus right
just get why I look different from the other white kids at school
just get why I look at my reflection in that way
just get why I need to paint the garage
I get it
He doesn’t go to church
and neither do I
So this is our atonement
Draw out our confessions from the sweat that runs down my body
is the burning on my back God’s hand beating me?
So this is our atonement?
He gets a daughter that doesn’t trust him and
i get to paint the garage