Calling Collect from Prison/Father-Daughter Intermediary

by  text by Amy Elizabeth Bishop  /  September 12, 2016  / No comments

:::: Tell her
……Tuesdays are good days……..—I know
…..making time is hard. Make sure she is reading
………..—make sure she stays
in school; tell her
……………………keep your nails ragged as an architect’s
…………………..first skyline to serrate
……..bodies that want
to claim……..you, as if claiming is all
…………they know………how to do.
Teach her to throw…….a punch:
………remember to leave
……your thumb exposed—she’ll learn
……………after the first time she breaks
…………………………………………..a knuckle.
……………………………………………………..::::………Tell her:
how we buried baby teeth/first
…..haircut/christening clothes in a prayer
chest. How precious….how adored……how
many hours on our knees—
………..Tell her……—send
a school picture to show
—to fall asleep with—
…………..smile like waking………to birthday/Christmas mornings.
Tell her I would turn
…..this world color-blind
……..for her :::: don’t tell her how much I miss
….her/don’t tell I called/don’t tell

This piece was originally published on May 22, 2016 in Aster(ix) Journal. It is republished with permission from Aster(ix) Journal.

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