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Monday, January 27, 2014

Dear John, A Man of Letters

You know why a man
Might seduce a girl your daughter’s age.
You’ve told her to wear dresses,
Close her legs when she sits like that.
Help her mother.

Where’s the line?
You thought you were the line.

He took her to the dairy when she was 15.
A kiss is something a girl knows, 
But why did he run pressing his long pants so?
She is learning her role.
To be hurt, wait and never show.

He took her to the beach
Perfect Love, their own Blue Lagoon.
He touched and taught her –
And she will always feel
The shape of what remains.

Teacher at a Catholic school,
He ran the gauntlet, slipped the noose, but kept the habit.
From OS he sent ‘love you’, ‘love you not’ letters, 
He plucked her petals – 
And returned to a stem.

Once back his hand goes
To her closest place and she clamps closed.
The shield is shame and hate.
I would rather burn, says she.
I’m too brittle and you’re too late.

So much writing! She has kept evidence
 - of  words, feelings, touch.
And depression, scaffolding for all that.
It’s kept the girl alive, in a way.
In dreams she cuts herself.

And Man where are you now?
Free coward, trader of daughters.

Why are you sleeping so sound? 

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