Tuesday, March 19, 2013


My father used to give me licks with his belt.
It was always a very formal affair,
 like going into the managers office
and getting written up.
There was no emotion,
he just reviewed the infraction with me,
(throwing tomatoes at cars ect.)
indicated this was going to hurt him worse than I,
then told me to grab my ankles.

I learned that if I started to cry
on about the 3rd lick or so,
he would stop and put his belt back on..
Then one day I decided not to cry.
The licks went on for some time,
but  I didn't cry.
It wasn't a display of courage.
It was  an act of defiance.
Rebellion, grabbing its ankles.
Without a whimper I quit the program.

When he had finally had enough
and the belt came to rest at his side
I stood straight up and turned to look him in the eye.
My father was crying.
And that was the last time
my father ever gave me licks with his belt.

bulletholes, 3/2013


Lucky said...

Something similar happened to me. It had been years since the last time my dad had giving me a “whooping”; which entailed a belt across the butt or back of the upper thighs. I can’t remember what my indiscretion was but I was at least 13 or 14 years old by then. Dad liked to add insult to the punishment by telling me to go get the belt. Being the smart girl that I am, I picked a wider one so as not to sting as much.

He gave me the first lick, then another. I didn't cry. “So you think you are so tough?” said my dad just as he was winding up for another lick. “If I cry, you’re going to hit me, if I don’t cry; you’re still going to hit me. What you want from me?” I asked. After a brief silence and the “deer in the head lights” look left his face; he told me to leave the room without a response to my question. He never disciplined me that way again and that moment marked the first time that I talked to my dad as an adult.

flask said...

i feel i should say something besides "that's beautiful", because just that might be taken lightly or ironically.

it's not.

there is a beauty to what you have written and i want to say so.

i have nothing to add.

bulletholes said...

Hi lucky!
you aren't just tough...you got a kinda smart mouth too, doncha?
I put this on FB, and I was surprised to find that a lot of people have pretty similar stories.

bulletholes said...

Hey Flask!
When I first wrote this up it was meant to be slightly comical, a little bit funny maybe. But with a few tweaks it kinda shifted into something else.
After I finished it, I read it to my roommate, and after I said the line "My father was crying" I couldnt hardly speak again for a good 30 seconds, and she and I were both crying.
I didnt expect that, and this is a very fond memory of my dad.