Kata

by silvershoes   Feb 23, 2016


The exasperated sigh of a father is not like other men's.
His disappointment hits me like a jo.

I've seen you practicing aikido,
eyes blank, lost in the Iwama style -
Your katas scare my mother, and
I'm beginning to understand why.

Still, she has learned to live with them;
accepted savagery into our home.
I, on the other hand, struggle for air
when your sharp, yet shrouded eyes
unwrap the layers of strength I've webbed around
my feebleness.
Your unapologetic ferocity shakes me to my core
'til even my bone marrow aches.

I don't feel anger toward you, father, no,
though sometimes I lash out in pain;
pain that bites chunks out of my heart, and
eats away my self-esteem.

The exasperated sigh of a father is not like other men's.

My stomach clenches like a fist when
I watch your students mimic your motions.
'Osu, Sempai,' they say, bowing their heads in respect.
Katas are about technique,
but yours, while perfect, are centered on dominion.
As half of you, I know this.

9


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Latest Comments

  • 3 months ago

    by mossgirl19

    This is splendid Jane and a heart-gripping one! Wow, another great write!

  • 1 year ago

    by Abed

    I love it.

  • 1 year ago

    by Milly Hayward

    There is so much that I like about this poem, the imagery is wonderful. My favourite part is "unwrap the layers of strength I've webbed around
    my feebleness".

  • 1 year ago

    by nourayasmine

    Congratulations, my favourite poet. <3

    • 1 year ago

      by silvershoes

      And you are one of mine, my love.

  • 1 year ago

    by hiraeth

    Judging comment:

    This piece is dripping in strong imagery and narrative.There's so many verses from this poem that stuck with me, such as 'The exasperated sigh of a father is not like other men's.', 'pain that bites chunks out of my heart, and /eats away my self-esteem. Beautiful piece.

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