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Tutelary

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What a fuckup you are.   
What dumbshit you do.   
Your father's voice   
still whispers in you,   
   
despite the joys   
that sweeten each day.   
Your Genius it isn't   
until, dying away,   
   
it worms back through   
the sparkling dream   
where you drown him   
in an inch-deep stream:   
   
your knee in his back,   
your strength on his skull,   
it begins singing   
praise for your skill.

Michael Ryan, “Tutelary” from New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2004 by Michael Ryan. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Source: New and Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2004 issue of Poetry magazine

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Tutelary

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