When Your Father Isn’t Your Father

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
When Your Father Isn't Your Father

Hi! This year (2023), I’m continuing my quest to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!

For Anne & Maxine

Why is it that the dead

Never listen to my pillow talk?

I am tired, but can’t sleep

Again and again and again.

You snore next to me

And occasionally twitch

As the dog snuggles in between us,

Released from her crate

Because she cries so much.

Again and again and again,

Why is that my whines

Never wake anyone up?

Not even myself.

When Your Father Isn’t Your Father

This morning when I planted

An apple tree in the backyard again

Because the last had been crushed

By the weight of beaten maple branches, broken fence posts

That had separated our yard

From the neighbor’s barren grass,

Until a storm knocked everything over,

Breaking, breaking, breaking,

I thought of you planting spruces

Wherever you lived, whenever you lived.

Delighting in shaping them

Into proper silhouettes, you’d said,

“Even Santa would approve of these big boys.”

You and I are not blood it turns out because Mom

Got lonely, bored, needy, got something. You never knew.

Firefighter lungs took you away before I learned,

Particulates turning into cancer all around your thick, hobbit chest.

Invading. Invading. Invading. Taking away

What seemed so solid and true.

You told me trees talked to other trees,

Anchored each other into the ground,

Talked to humans, too. Their species

Classification didn’t matter, you said.

It didn’t matter if they weren’t alike.

Maple could love oak could love spruce could love apple

The same way I could love you even when our blood

Turned out not to be the same. We still grew together.

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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