catalpa, heart-shaped and boney
your daddy died years ago,
in redress of his mind, where I leave
my fingers on the stone,
and I’ll never see him, he is just a rock
he is just a worm;
you’ve been in my mind
but never knew me,
I tire; death
is half the stradivarius of the birds
and their strings of gut
than it is mystifying or
and the shadow of their men.
The root of rock
tree limbs near
their moth wings
mincing and misplanted
in raw-boned eulogy after eulogy
and I’ve never known him
this man of earth, of war
and weedy cypress, lizards
and their fluted skins
married to the wind;
fed by labored tumuli,
plummeted fingers into the ground
fall and drown, fall and drown.
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Posted for the dVerse MTB prompt: Write a Protest Poem with a theme (e.g. voting, social justice, peace & war, violence, women’s rights, human rights, environment, pandemic, etc).
This is not quite a protest poem, but I think it communicates the same idea about what war takes away from us, including our loved ones who either passed in war or lived through their traumas until the end of their life.
Originally published on Ephemeral Elegies. I dedicated this to my Grandfather who fought in the Vietnam War, passing away years later in my early childhood.