Revision, Revision, Revision

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Do you ever have those days?

When nothing you have written seems worthy? Today was one of those days for me. I paced and paced until I decided to do something about it. Of course, I had my breakthrough when I was in the shower, but as soon as I was able (dry) I revised a poem that I have been struggling with.

I read a Mary Oliver poem (I can’t recall which one) this morning, and its simplicity overwhelmed me. So, I took this poem about my father and his World’s Fair fable and took it down to to the bare bones.

Of course, I will probably revise it again. Feel free to give me feedback.

The World’s Fair Fable

I asked my father why he painted
the exploding airplane
set against a black night sky,
whirling Ferris wheel below.
He said it was because his sadness
stayed inside him,
just beneath the skin.
Until it exploded, like the airplane.
He said his mother and uncle traveled
to Chicago in 1933, without him.
The World’s Fair, a tender memory.
So he painted
to relieve
the pain.
My father asked me why
I pasted the walls of my bedroom with
faces among thousands,
edges touching edges.
I said each expression reminded
of who
I wasn’t.
I arranged each image as a shrine to
my loneliness.
We asked each other why
his son, my brother
Died.
Without warning.
I filled my body
With alcohol, as he once did.
He wrote bible verses
on tiny scraps of paper
compelling me/us
to not get drunk on wine. 


Susan Ward Trestrail, 2016

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