I. BAD DAD

My son told me last evening
Something I did not know:
How bad a father I had been
While he had time to grow,

So now that he's done growing,
And his life has turned out bad, 
It's all my fault because I was
A failure as a dad

Not to him alone, he said,
But his older sister, too,
Who'd hated him, he realized,
At least since he was two.

Her two divorces both were owing
To my incessant ire,
As was his own failed marriage to
The girl of his desire

With whom he'd lived quite happily
For what had seemed like ages
And married on a whim one day
While they were in Las Vegas.

Oh, by the way, did I have some
Painkillers I'd not used
After my aortal stent?
His girl had been abused

After her accident last spring
By doctors who refused
To treat the pain she suffered still.
I said that I recused

Myself because I did not know
The girl of whom he spoke
And what he asked was illegal --
Couldn't she smoke a toke?

I guess she can't because my son
Replied he could not handle
One more moment in the light
Of his father's guttering candle.

Farewell. My daughter and my son,
Farewell, familial dream,
Farewell as well to you, Bad Dad,
And to my self-esteem.

II. TO MY SON

You told me just how mean I was
To you as you were growing
And what a rotten dad I was
Now that my life is slowing

To an earthworm's lowly crawl,
But nothing I can think of
Can match the mess of bile and gall
You dumped on the dad you "love."

III. GOOD COP / BAD COP

My mother had to have her way,
If not, she’d start to cry.
If now my wife would have her say,
She keeps her eyeballs dry.

Frustrated “Mom May” cried “Divorce!”
Whenever she was met
With Dad’s stone wall: Atomic force
Was Mom May’s constant threat.

Now if my wife wants a divorce
I tell her, “Go ahead.
You’ll need a lawyer, dear, of course.
Find someone else to wed.”

The moral of this Iliad:
In every marriage one
Parent’s good, the other’s bad,
The good cop has more fun.

The bad cop will be hated by
The little boys who grow
Up to tell their kiddos why
“Men never cry, you know.”