My Dad

A powerful post about child abuse.


To the man who beat me with a strap, came home drunk most every night, has never remembered my birthday, has told me time and time again that I am an idiot, held a gun to my head, abused my mom and my older brother, made sure I knew that I wouldn’t amount to anything, that I made stupid decisions. To the man who pulled me aside the day before we buried my brother and best friend who had just been murdered to tell me that it would have been easier if it had been me. To that man, my father, who in rare moments of playing “daddy” and being sober taught me to fish, to change a tire, to plant vegetables, what you’ve done in my past has made today pure torture. I hate you but I love you.

I have spent every Father’s Day trying to find that…

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God, Don’t Let Bessie Die! (1930s Memoir)

Disaster strikes when the cow gets down.


Daddy came in to supper, worried to death.  Bessie, our cow had had a calf and had “got down.”  This was a catastrophe. “Getting down” meant certain death for the cow and a disaster for us. “Oh, Lord!  What in the world will we do?  We’ve got to have milk for the kids.  And we’ll lose the calf, too.”  Mama was calm, not panicking, so, I knew this was

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…and feel ashamed…

Art by Rob Goldstein
Writings from homeless people in Clarion Alley

At night I hide beneath my blanket like a
boy afraid of the dark and feel ashamed.

I hear sweet music and remember
something good and feel ashamed.

I see photos of murder victims and wonder
what they thought in those last moments
and feel ashamed.

I walk past weddings and imagine the bride #
and groom screwing and feel ashamed.

I reach for the ghost of a long dead
lover and feel ashamed.

I open my eyes to discover that I’m
still alive and feel ashamed.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016