|Keywords||Child Abuse, Death and Dying, Family Relationships, Father-Daughter Relationship, Illness and the Family, Love, Suffering, Survival, Time|
The poem expresses the devastation that parental abusiveness inflicts and the rationalizations its recipients adopt for emotional survival. In a perverse way, childhood mistreatment by her father meant the narrator was being given his attention. His death has guaranteed that the loving relationship which she had with him at the end of his life is safe from harm. So precarious did she believe his love to be that she feared even now to offend him: "he could / re-skew my life."
|Commentary||This is from the collection of poems written by Olds about a father's terminal illness and death, and retrospectively, about a life together (see also in this database The Waiting, The Pulling, The Dead Body, Waste Sonata).|
|Place Published||New York|
|Annotated by||Aull, Felice|
|Date of Entry||02/09/94|