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My Father’s Grief

August 19, 2011

by Susan Facknitz

He wears it like wires,
chicken wire of the rusted coops
that sit outside the house
in crazed angles of neglect,
rat wire’s tiny squares
all over the empty flight cages
inside the house, trip wires
to the mines he cleared
from the roads of Korea
in the long retreat from Cho San.
They hold him up,
not marionette like,
hands above him
in smooth control. More like
yard signs or whirligigs.
things punched into the ground
that give when the wind whips
too fiercely or the earth softens
with rain. He plunks
his bandy legs across whatever ground
he has to each day forgetting
as he goes, synapses starved
and current gone bad,
he wakes the night away
in cold electric light.


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Susan Facknitz has had poems in Poetry East, Mississippi Review and Southwords (Ireland), in addition to her previous appearance in qarrtsiluni (“Flotsam,” in the Water issue).

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  1. August 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I love this poem. It is so visual and so moving. Not a misstep. I wanted to hear more, and found Susan reading more wonderful poems on YouTube.

  2. Lisa
    August 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I love this, Susan. I can picture it as I read it.

  3. Lynnel Jones
    August 20, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Susan – the last two lines of your poem are an absolutley wonderful click. They leave the reader with an up moment despite the basic sadness of the poem.

  4. mary
    August 25, 2011 at 10:33 am

    From first line to last this is a jewel. Thanks for this beautuful poem–and the reading was spot-on. No useless drama in the voice.

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