To My Father

Cedrick Klein

Jon Tribble Memorial Award Winner

To even begin to speak of you, my thoughts become muddled
buzzing much like droning bees inside of my dazed mind
Though I’ve barely experienced a moment under the sun with you
You linger scattered about in internal photographs.
(Faded and worn photographs but still ever present)
Deep down I know it to be unwise to speak ill of the dead and yet
The seeds you’ve left upon me and my family still push thorns into my mind

It’s days after my 22nd birthday, after faithful Christmas Day.
This morning is peaceful but still I’m left uneasy
(Your ghostly gift towards me perhaps?)
A call from your brother I’ve never met, confusingly searching for me
His words hammer nails and pins deep inside my chest
A dull ache I’ll still never be able to describe.
You’ve already left us but, you’ve left us this time again.

I never thought you could be hurt by something nonexistent
Trauma leftover from the past resurfacing like a boat on water
(A stormy sea, unknown what creatures lie beneath.)
Despite everything, I am not any longer sufferingly plagued with hatred
I could write novels, I could scream lengthy speeches to the heavens
Even saying this, the words won’t appear on pages
My sermons not even reaching the ears of the masses

Years and years will pass and fail to bring forth how I can begin to process it all