In Response to My 13 Year-Old Daughter’s Letter

Read this stunning poem. Then read the rest of the book! You won’t regret it.


Starlight 01 Cameren at age 4, taken Mother’s Day 2005

In Response to My 13 Year-Old Daughter’s Letter

Apologize? For regretting your birth?

That the white dove of sarcasm
has officially fledged from your belly
alit on the canopy     & uncaged its crystal trill
comes to me as no surprise

But neither of us could have foreseen the power
your brooding would conceive of pencil & ire
before the moment you spat out   crumpled     & hand delivered
my saltwater baptism

Your own tears     now dried for hours     blaze for me
from the gold heart in your gray-green eyes
willing my belief that you truly didn’t realize
I’ve been there your whole life

At sundown     I’m the one always stumbling through the wood
like some sort of village idiot     brandishing my dim lantern
at the giant pines     as if I might catch them in the act
of uprooting themselves     & slinking away

Though you flit…

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Poem in Extract(s)


“Ashes” appeared in Extract(s) in March of 2013, months before I ever considered blogging. It marked my return to publication, after a decade’s absence:

The poem is also available in the print anthology, Extract(s) Volume 2:!extracts-daily-dose-of-lit/c19nk