"The exasperated sigh of a father is not like other men's."
Absolutely. Absolutely. In my life, at least, trying to earn my father's respect or recognition is such a weird battle of wanting and never feeling satisfied. And that looming edge of disappointment/exasperation is crushing. It's weird, really, that it would be particular to fathers, when you'd think we'd just get over it already. Must be a socially ingrained thing.
Love that you started strong with that line, and brought it back later on.
Also I see what you were doing, craft-wise, in tying together the physical aspects and violence of aikido with the emotional/physical reactions of your relationship. I think the line "My stomach clenches like a fist/ when
I watch your students mimic your motions" is the most poignant in that. You built the poem up to that line, hinting at it, and then finally made your own body into the weapon. Really well done Jane.
And the last line, of course. I'm a little bit in awe of you for that last line. <3
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.