For My Amanda, Who Lives Elsewhere - Poem by Pasha Satara
(Sins of the father; love for the daughter)
It is on days like these,
when the grass lays wet on the side of the hill,
combed with a side part
by the hands of a mother who seeks perfection;
Blossoming girls, budding like dogwoods in spring,
wear white dresses with lace falling about their tanned ankles
as they kneel at an altar to take a first holy communion;
Like a young paint, wine stains their lips beautifully,
while unleavened bread melts on their warm pink tongues.
Houses sit vacant waiting for families,
while couples reap emptiness waiting for children
who grew up, ran away, disowned them,
or were aborted or never conceived.
It is on days like this,
when the sun mocks discarded mothers' attempts,
when the night laughs at the elusive sleep angel,
when the futility of a lover or a friend
shows itself paper thin;
days like these that are too pretty for the living,
days like this scratch deeper than the surface of the skin
and leave scars on tender heartflesh
that has already begun to sour.
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