Poem: The truth is

By: Kristina England


no one likes a prophet.
My father keeps thinking he’ll die,
dreamt himself gone long ago,
says forty five, fifty
then sixty three, the years
dancing around his father’s grave,
etchings young on that stone,
the grandfather I never knew.
Pneumonia, mom says.
Heavy drinker, mom says.

My father only drinks two beers a night.
I don’t tell him to up it.
He was a welder, worked two shifts,
never saw him longer than
a passing hello
until today

Retired, tired,
can’t exchange each other’s words
make small talk
take small talk
fold it up in boxes I can open down the road
hope to fill a whole room
At least a quarter

No one likes a prophet
and my father once read tarot cards
For a living, flipped mine
Over when I was just thirteen
Joked I would die before thirty
car accident, bad wreck
he said.

Did not know him well enough
to know his wit, refused my license
held my breath for three
decades, then looked around
to find his words
descending like bricks.
Boom. Boom

No one likes a prophet so
I catch his bricks,
no matter what anyone says.
I’d rather be crushed
than lose a piece of him,
a piece I could look at and say,
Yes, yes, I can see the man
my father feared
he could have been.

I pick up my own words.
They are wet cement, fresh,
easy to step in.
I stick my father’s words together,
build a 3D puzzle,
one that gets taller and taller,
one where the questions
never end.


Categories: Poetry

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