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Word Count: 789
Often forgiving someone can be a hard task It can even be a crime for those who wish never to forgive When faced with an opportunity to forgive do we readily jump at the chance or do we hold back and weigh the decision on a scale that may be unbalanced Forgiveness must come from the heart and not the mouth But once forgiven how do we reconcile any remaining emotions Are we allowed to change our minds or are we stuck with emotions that continue to haunt us Sometimes the act of forgiving can be an ongoing process This is the case in Lucille Cliftons forgiving my father The very fact that the title is in a present tense denotes the ongoing process she has with forgiving him Another repetitive event is of the speakers first line it is friday we have come to the paying of the bills She speaks of a ritual done on a weekly basis that cannot be shirked without consequences from the bill collectors Collecting a debt is a strong allegory used in Cliftons poem The speaker as the bill collector demands that her father repay the debts he has accumulated In the lines my mothers hand opens in her early grave and i hold it out like a good daughter we see that the daughter is not owed this debt Instead the daughter is a collector for the debt owed to her mother This allegory is sustained throughout the poem with the repetition of financial terms such as empty pocket payday bargain old pauper collecting debtors boxes and accounting These terms continue the pattern of a debt still outstanding Another pattern is in the actual words The
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