Andrew Seaman CC
Letter to My Son’s Too Short Life
Dear broken lifeline in a handprint pressed
into the clay when you were six. Dear picky eater,
apple juice in a sippy cup. Teddy bear tag worn thin
by fingers fondling the silk. Dear early talker, messy
room with a TV flickering in the corner so you could sleep.
Dear crying while fishing with your dad, thinking you were
going to keep the trout as a pet, flat dead glassy-eyed corpse
pulled from the lake. Dear brilliant square peg in a round hole,
rescuer of a pigeon you named Parchesi, low slung jeans
and boxer shorts, fear of driving, lost books and papers crumpled
at the bottom of your backpack. Dear culinary school, clove of garlic baked
in a potato, vanilla frosted triple-layer cake topped with strawberries cut
into rosebuds. Dear red eyes and munchies. Backpain and an oxy prescription.
Finding your own brand of recovery on the street. Gifting water bottles, prayers.
Bible in a Ziplock. Dear street minister, methadone clinic, policeman’s gun.
Dear short life. Dear grief. Flickering sequin at the end of a cigarette,
tip of a joint. Ignited into fire when held in your lips, drawn into your lungs
with your breath, released.
Susan Vespoli writes from Phoenix, AZ, where she believes in the power of poetry to heal. Her work has been published in spots such as Anti-Heroin Chic, Rattle, and New Verse News. She is the author of two books, one of them, Blame It on the Serpent, is about addiction in her family, and all profits are donated to 12-Step Groups.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.