When I stepped into the shadows
Father was there to greet me
Not with a hug or smile
But with the stern unquestionable command.
So I went, programmed as ever to
Follow, never given the option to
Lead, even when the madness took
Him, he puppet-ed me behind the ink stained mask
In ways familiar, the broad back
Hiding scars belying his apparent
Invincibility. He’s with the League
Now and I’m just his errand boy.
At the end, with barely any words
He sank back on his throne,
Leaving me with the turmoil, the
Bruises and laced disgust at my acquiescence.
He’s replaced me several times,
I – in a pique – struck out at the
Confinement. Something about respect
And caged spring birds, I abandoned
The folly of red, canary yellow and
Emerald, donning black and blue
In mockery of him, so that my
Skin would blend into the night.
It was foolish of me to expect
The sun, arching through the air
With glitter and lights, vaguely
The memory of my Dad sparkles.
But there is no room here for glistening
Trifles, and he is not my Father
He has a true son now, the final in
A line of sealed coffins that could
Not contain the burgeoning curiosity
That took the others away before they’d
Gotten mid-way to thirty-five.
He didn’t know how to raise us,
But he always knew how to bury us.
That impenetrable man,
I scoff at my weakness, then,
As a child, meeting him for the
First time, clutching the shreds of day-
Old grief, I thought he would embrace,
But his stern face abandoned such
Wishes. Nothing touched him and
Like a fool, I wanted to be him;
Willingly diving into the black,
Consuming every word as gospel
Racing into his shadow.
And now it stifles me, that
Cape overhead that blanketed the
City, sucking away independent
Will for I would never be anything
But Father’s tool, so I left
Him sitting on his shadowed
Throne, departing the city of my
Fathers and yet still I cannot
Escape; they call me, those
Followers, who never see the
Darkness of his eyes
And the eternity of his grasp.
Written persona poem of Nightwing, a DC character.