All Great Empires Must Fall

Alessandra Nicholson

Jon Tribble Memorial Award

Beneath your presence
My strength waivers
I try and hold my ground,
Your advantage too great
There’s a spy in me daddy
And she’s on your team
Some call her love
She quiets the hate
Silences the pain
Steamed from neglect,
Makes me forget
You were never there

A kingdom lived in me
Unfit for a little girls heart
The prestige, honor, and pride
All for you

But daddy,
All great empires must fall
And you are my disaster

They’ll speak of me—
Remember how I was always there
Thriving, bustling, growing
Until that dark day you came?
Or rather…you left

Christmas Eve I swung
Socked feet in wait
You called, wished me “happy birthday”
Promised to come by.
So I waited
Well into Christmas…
You and Santa let me down

I tried but
I was never better
Something about empty glasses
Drowned me out
I was never better
Something about girlfriends
Overshadowed me

I was never better
Something about
Your pain left me reeling

Yes, all great empires must fall daddy.
My love for you assaulted
By a tidal wave of vodka

You dressed up.
Black shoes, pants, shirt
And tugged my pudgy hand
Alerting my body to move
The guitar strings
Plucked by
Calloused fingertips
Drenched in vodka
Meant more than me
At eight years old I stayed up all night
To see you play with your band
To see you play
To see you

Because I knew then daddy
I’d see you
No more