IMPERFECT STRANGERS

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

It has been three years

since you went away

and I am just now getting around to mourning you.

Is it a delayed reaction

or just indifference,

I guess I will never know.

I just know

this Christmas I missed you more than usual.


You grew up a poor boy

way back in a West Virginia holler

on the other side of the crick

that we would cross in the car,

in a shack with no electricity or running water

a fireplace the only heat,

a tin roof that sang in the rain,

and a porch swing,

wood worn thin by tired buttocks,

the woods and mountains your only toys

and a big feather bed

that you would gently carry me to

when my eyes could no longer

stay open to listen to grandpa’s stories.


You made something of yourself

just not what you had hoped.

I never really knew you

the things that you did and saw

or the depth of your pain and disappointment,

nor you mine,

You only knew the boy

and the man you molded me to be

not the woman I’ve become

but you gave me the courage to become her.


Mom never knew how much

we were alike

sharing the same heart.


I still pray at night

for signs of your presence,

like the two mourning doves

sitting side by side on the deck railing

you and mom together.

I will never forget

how much you cried when she died.

I guess after all these years

I am still craving your approval.


Copyright 2019 by Barbara Marie Minney. All rights reserved.

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