"Like Him" by Aaron Smith, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on October 31, 2013. A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:
In this prose poem of twenty or twenty-one lines (there is one short line that may have been an artifact of space considerations), the speaker (identified as the poet in the poet's notes) rants about how his father never liked him and how he never could be the son his father wanted. There is a universal theme that addresses the lasting scars inflicted upon children whose parents refuse to accept them for whom and what they are rather than for whom or what they want them to be. The poem ends on a bitter note with the speaker "talking down" to his less educated father. It appears the only lesson that the father taught his son was how to "…fight like his father, like him, like men: / the meanest guy wins, don't ever apologize." What a sad legacy--but all too common, I fear.
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