Taught as we were then
     to end every
prayer with an amen, children caught in this
                    troubling ritual, trembling ever since—
                         against memory
                              with lips transgressing father’s tradition

          we break tradition
     and split memory
in our fractured assembly, working since
                    their theft to recover parts we lost then—
                         a liturgy, this
                              attrition of his, with knees every

          (k)night’s grin bent, we accepted every
     sliver of moonlight heaven sent when this
faith he fed us then
                    made of tradition
                         a cure for innocence, forgiving since
                              a good memory

          even when bad fiction, is memory
     still, a time-bomb ticking inside kids since
it’s our tradition
                    to spend every
                         night greeting with terror what victims then
                              realize is this

          thing we all hide, this
     cancer feasting, then
apologizing for its every
                    bite, what ill hearts vomit when memory
                         takes that tradition
                              and eats guilt’s gluttonous bounty, filled since

          emptying us, since
     even tradition
needs to be bled and wiped clean, memory
                    climbing from beneath silence cries out, this
                         demon every
                              child knows by name erupts once provoked, then

                    birthing itself, collects from memory
                         its debt, this trauma his love’s cost in this
                              house where bills become loss, where hurt lived then.