This Be Worse

For P.L.

They fuck you up, your dearest kids.
They sometimes mean to when they do,
their lives a wreaking of revenge
on one slow target: that is you.
But they were fucked up by your plans
to give them what you never had.
Your dearest dreams, those also-rans:
unwitting schemes to make them sad.
Humanity’s a risky bet
for stakes beginning with a kid.
It’s the fucking that you get
for the fucking that you did.

Charles Holdefer is an American writer currently based in Brussels, Belgium. His work has appeared in The New England Review, The North American Review, World Literature Today and other magazines. His novel Back in the Game will be published in the U.S. in 2012.