“Weight” by Ian Watts
“I will not be the man you meant to raise,”
He grim averred. “Your expectations chafe
And stifle how I’ve grown and learned in days
Since youth; Not mine to keep your heirlooms safe.
“Did my novitiate not fulfill your wish?
My filial duty: tell you sacramental
Black is white, teach same to babes (if!) with
Your name? I did not ask; I won’t consent.”
“We’ll pray else, but not to compel you hence,”
They said. “It’s not to you to answer prayers.”
“But live as he whose life shames not his sense,
And do your sisters proud, and then we’re square.”
He answered, less as rebel than as fool:
“If that’s all, well then, shit. I guess we’re cool.”