My Da by Aimée Coates

Our Father who art in Heaven

Ma said never to let anyone touch me here. She called it my flower.

Hallowed be thy Name

but Da did. He whispered my name, whispered it over and over.

Thy kingdom come

called me into the backroom when Ma was on the nightshift

Thy will be down on earth

and told me to take clothes off. He said that girls should obey their Fathers

As it is in Heaven

said it’s what God says in the Holy Bible.

Give us this day

It was a Wednesday night.

Our daily bread

Ma had made lamb stew for tea. Da had lit the fire. He’d ruffled my hair like he always did. Ma said, ‘No one loves you like your Da loves you.’ He loves me.

and forgive us our trespasses

He said it was my fault. He said I had eyes like Ma. He said that I had made him do it.

as we forgive those

He told me I was wicked. He said I should beg God’s forgiveness for what I’d done

who sin against us

and never to tell Ma because I’d kill her.

and lead us not into

He left. The pink dress Granny bought me for my birthday


was red with blood.

but deliver us from

I wept to God. I wept and prayed and begged him not to


send me to hell.

for thine is the kingdom

I closed my eyes, I squeezed them tight and remembered happy things. I thought about the time we went to the seaside down in Cork . Da bought me ice cream from the ice-cream van. He chased me up the sand dunes

the power
and when he caught me he lifted me up into the sky and twirled me round and round.

and the glory

I was happy then.

forever and ever

So happy then.


3 thoughts on “My Da by Aimée Coates

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