Thanks for making me resilient

Thanks for constantly mocking
each misstep I’ve ever made
& never recognizing that I’ve grown,
enumerating the mistakes I could’ve prevented
if I’d just listened to you.

Thanks for designating me
as your unpaid marital counselor for decades
& vacillating between friend and mother,
wondering why, five years ago, I stopped
helping you through recycled drama.

Thanks for disparaging
my passion for writing (and day job)
& quantifying your success as a father
with the prestige of your kids’ occupations
instead of the kind of people they are.

Thanks for proving that
family isn’t always there regardless
& continuing to insist that it’s true,
since you’d only support an unhappy life you chose
instead of the happy one I have.

Thanks for being
the most unrelenting naysayers
& refusing to believe you don’t know best,
because I was forced
to become resilient.