Who really liked their stepfather?

Mary McGrath
Blue Insights
Published in
1 min readJun 16, 2024


Photo courtesy of Mary McGrath

The bitter taste
of stepfathers,
sometimes like lemons
on a sunburned face,
stinging, singeing,
the sour taste
lingering far longer
than an unwanted embrace.

A stepfather enters,
a stranger too soon
taking away our mothers,
and keeping them
from sunrise past
the setting of the moon.

Mine arrived
cloaked with
a cashmere promise
doting on my mom
with flashy charms
of future comfort,
and a life exempt
from worry and harm.

I was thrown
under the bus,
a discarded daughter
he didn’t trust,
who was no longer needed
no matter how much
I pleaded.

Charming and vile,
he could bite like a viper
fueled on beer
instilling fear, and shame
his sneer often
casting countless blame.

But it’s Father’s Day,
reminding of that
man who took my place.

My labor erased
as my mother ran to him
with fragile arms
leaving me behind in her wake.



Mary McGrath
Blue Insights

Top writer in humor, short stories, writing, advice and poetry. She’s written for Newsweek, Wall St. Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.