poetry marathon, prompt #4: epistolary poem


Dear Daddy ~

At 6, I howled when you took a hammer to my bed.

I couldn’t know that we were moving, despite what you said.

Mommy tried to intervene, but all I knew was broke.

You tried to comfort me, I’m sure, your shirt front soaked

with tears. Forgive you? I could not, not at 6 years old.

But I could forget, and that I did. Although the story told

of differences in what we saw, and what we did about it.

Each move to each new base, each house slightly more crowded.

New babies grew, old friends withdrew. We had another home.

I howled again. My broken heart hated how distance loomed

across the ocean, far away. Would all my family die?

Would Grandma & Aunt Bonnie live? YOU made me say goodbye.

I wish that I could tell you, now, I too have moved away ~

from bitter words and accusations, from all age has allayed.

I wish that we could talk once more, and you would share your stories.

And I would put my hand in yours, and we would be at ease.

And you would laugh that laugh we share, and share where we have roamed.

Knowing now that where we are, together, is our home.

Published by: Britton Gildersleeve

Writer Britton Gildersleeve grew up in Southeast Asia, moved to the Middle East when she married, and returned to Oklahoma to raise her two sons. Now that they're grown, she and her beloved live in Virginia, where she can be closer to sons, daughter-in-law, & grandsons. Sometimes she hears voices, so she writes ~ And she drinks a lot of tea.

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