Guilty (The Asshole)

I recollect that lunch I had with you
a decade and a half post our divorce,
describing how my own self-knowledge grew
to counter some old causes of remorse.
Then glibly you replied you’d known no guilt
since we split up, as if I were to blame
for any rue you felt before the jilt.
You staggered me with that embittered claim.

For I knew then how you abused our son
with anger so extreme, and slaps and yells.
And recently I learned, when he was young,
how you neglected him – your drinking spells
and inattention. Guilt’s poor penalty,
and you deserve all current agony.

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