Daddy’s Game by Amy Jo Sprague

I imagine you must’ve shut
yourself off somehow–the way
you’d eventually teach me to do–
before you entered my room
like a king’s shadow.

I hear the scrape of your jeans
your hands hot and big like swings;
I’m young so I love you. I do as you say.
You blow smoke in my face.

Now, here, I slip
because you taught me how to shut off–
how to die inside,
and I have only memories
of my body:

fear, arousal, panic and pain,
death around every corner
shh girl shh
I hid so well I lost me
in this confusion of a woman
trying to bud from
what’s already been picked.

Amy Jo Sprague

Difficult degrees: Amy Jo Sprague’s wordpress blog
About Amy Jo Sprague

About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from
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11 Responses to Daddy’s Game by Amy Jo Sprague

  1. indytony says:

    Haunting. Yet beautifully written. Thank you, Ms. Sprague for your words and Russell, for publishing this.

  2. This makes me so angry I cannot speak. As it should. It reminds me of “I Go Back to May 1937” by Sharon Olds.

  3. njuri says:

    Only people who have experienced how awful this is can really understand. Thank you for the beautiful way you tell the story.

    • russellboyle says:

      Yes, and their experience and understanding behoves us to reflect on its abhorrence. I too am most grateful for the beautiful way in which Amy Jo Sprague tells her story. Thank you for reading and commenting on this compelling work.

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