On The Anniversary of His Death

No amount of empathycould help me understandthe storm inside my father Even in his death, thoughtscloud my writing, his presencepreserved in prose… (Even though it’s been fifteen years, my father’s essence remains strong – sometimes taunting, sometimes inspiring, always mysterious.)

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Birch Trees (with recording)

Strains of Tijuana Brass flood the yard while father on bended knee tends his garden, tiers of stone edged rows encircling a trio of birch trees. Father points out birches on Sunday drives, as if the bark is sacred, leaves whispering a secret I cannot hear – stirs in me an indefinable longing. My husband […]

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Soul Confusion

I was your pink girl universe, but you, Two Spirit, asked me to look up, full faith, feel sky lift your language world big, I, little and like morning, gentle, always open – one sister soul making life a play. (Friday is magnetic poetry.  Play online.  Image from personal collection – available on Society6 – […]

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Adult Child

So my luck – father’s favourite child, me, no boy for him… he drinks – thousand morning scold – knows I respect, make peace and, you’d think protect them star – wishing god was there, us together, working it. (Friday is Magnet Poetry online.)

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Genetics

I search for father in this pain, recall limbs wrapped, liniment-lathered, how he cried out relief beyond reach judged his suffering as emotional – a karmic penalty for a life of tyranny – compassion lapsed. Now, I fight with legs that will not settle, arms that ache to bone, moments inconsolable spiralling into moodiness seems […]

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When We Meet In Heaven, Dad (2)

I picture it: a convention of like minds, congregating, sharing, aspiring to betterment. A conference of healing, for the newly deceased – like limbo, only educational. Surprised to find you there – you who seldom attended any of my performances. I’ll stifle the discomfort, suppress doubt, cherish the moment, except that I know you – […]

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Debonair and Deprived

“Is that you father?” acquaintances would ask – voices deep and dreamy. Particular about his dress, meticulous in his grooming, Dad’s eyes sparkled oceans his dark, wavy curls framing a strong face, his body tall and muscled. I’d tilt my head sideways, incredulous at this response, then realize they’d fallen for his mask – carefully […]

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A Poem in Three Voices

Page three! Father would say whenever she opened mouth to speak – inevitable tale waiting I just want you to hear me, I remember feeling, to know that my words have meaning You get all your needs met; it’s why I work so hard, now don’t bother me, get along…  She learned to hold things […]

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Snapdragons

Snapdragons transport me back to father’s gardens – the pleasure of pinching delicate flower mouths forbidden as I was, tiny feet banished from tiers of ordered colours, how he worshipped those rows hours spent on knees, as if in prayer, attention lavished on nurturing growth while I shrivelled at the sidelines, longed to dig beside […]

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Tangled

Father told me I had no problems – didn’t even know what problems were, so I tucked away grief, pretended, mastered the art of suppression – what did I matter, after all? Failed to grasp the underlying message – ignored the extent of his personal pain, translated indifference into selfish agendas, set up walls to […]

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