WHAT MAMMA WROTE

I never saw my father cry when fire
burned farm buildings to the ground

nor when clouds of hail razored
ripening corn, oat and soybean fields

nor when he was fired in St. Paul
from a government-appointed job

nor when my brother was injured and
cast-bound, waist-to-ankle, for months

nor when he waited for his prodigal son
to drive home, drunk again at two a.m.

nor when he buried his mother, Annie,
and then, his father, Oliver

but when I miscarried, alone, in a far city,
Mama wrote, your dad cried

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