Online since August 2002

lies about the dead

Erica Woiwode received her Master's in Literature & Writing Studies from Cal State University, San Marcos. She currently teaches English at Palomar College and Mount San Jacinto College. Her poetry has been published in Academic Exchange Extra for four consecutive months, L.A. Miscellany (Los Angeles), The Poetry Conspiracy (San Diego), artistic rights and the Cal State San Marcos Pride Literary Supplement. She was featured in the Summer 2004 issue of Turbula.

There was the year
I told everyone
that my father was dead,
as if he had no
voice or say,
not even a whisper
of something
insignificant –

There was nothing,
he was gone,
I assured everyone –
even though, of course
he still lived and breathed
on the far side
of some other town,
where I no longer
went, to avoid
being bludgeoned
with lies about
who I should have
become –

So I waited,
and waited,
until the guilt was so thick
that I told everybody
the truth –

Then I wrote to my
father, and asked him
why he gave up
sentiment entirely,
why his heart
turned to liquid,
and he squelched completely
the urge to hold
his children close –
safe –

in the small dark hours of each new morning.

Published July 2005


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