Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

They Say You Finally Have to Forgive Everything

clock 2
They Say You Finally Have to Forgive Everything

My uniformed father’s smile resembles the Mona Lisa’s, as unknowable to me as ever, his cheeks rouged like some downtown whore’s by an assistant in the backroom of the All-American Studio 40-odd years ago. They say there may have been another woman and a child–my half-sister. Still over there somewhere. I’ve found out things, but never a hint about them. I take down his portrait and hang the German clock. Tomorrow I will write for the case file of his time in Leavenworth. In the darkness the clock strikes two, then three. I get up, stop the pendulum, take another pill.
Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country with his wife and two yellow Labs. He edits Camroc Press Review and is coauthor of CRACK! AND THUMP: WITH A COMBAT INFANTRY OFFICER IN WORLD WAR II. He is currently working on a collection of compressed pieces related to war.
*Photo by Dominic Morel.

Categories: Poetry, Why I'm not coming home

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