Wednesday Poem

One Year After My Dying Father and I Stop Speaking to Each Other Again

Someone on the internet is mourning
her dad—that old goat—with a goldmine

of anecdotes. Scraps of fondness I scrape off
her tweet—his beef wellington, her frogs. I want

my frown-scored mouth loaded with her clean vocabulary
of love. The way she holds her father’s hand, no pinch

of humiliation. Like the time I saw a teenager
sitting on her father’s lap. How I couldn’t

take my eyes off the alarming purity of it.
How my mouth dried at the sight like I had been drinking

the wrong water all this time. When I pull
the ocherous leaves from my thirsty pothos, it is

too easy. No satisfactory rip. Too ready
to let go. I covet the reels of the lucky ones going on

about their dead. Everyone I have lost
I have lost before the end.

by Eugenia Leigh
Split This Rock