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  • April 14th, 2010 | 2:53 AM
30 Poems in 30 Days - THE GIFT

My personal challenge for National Poetry Month is to write
a poem a day about the father I have never known.


one dollar bills
plucked from a tired wallet,
my father's only gift,
when forced,
in family court.

@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
    All Rights Reserved
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 12 comments — Leave comment )
April 14th, 2010 09:54 am (UTC)
Susan, are these poems healing to write, or is every day more salt in your wound? They are turning into a powerful collection...something that might be a book someday...
April 14th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Mary Lee, they are all incredibly healing to write. Each night I wonder if I can pull up another memory or if, because I have so few, they are all used up. And then suddenly one comes, and the words spurt out so fast that it amazes me. And when it's finished, I feel some of the weight I've carried for way too many years fall away and some of the scabs I've scratched again and again, begin to scar over.

I would like to see if I can shape them into a book.
April 14th, 2010 11:59 am (UTC)
I agree with Mary Lee -- they're all quite powerful and I can see them in a book. This one, only 6 lines, speaks volumes.
April 14th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Jama. I hope to make a book of this incredible experience. We'll see.
April 14th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
This one is heartbreaking. It's so beautiful the way you have compressed so much into so few words, each one of them dropping like a stone into a pool.
April 15th, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
Thank you. I started out wanting to do a haiku but I guess I had too much to say. :)
April 14th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
This one is heartbreaking. I found myself wanting to know whether it was a forced birthday gift, and why $7 (was that all he had in his tired wallet? Was that your age -- a dollar per year), and what you did with it -- whether you spent it or kept those dollars for a long time, knowing that they'd come from his wallet, knowing that you had a small piece of him, or whether you bought something you wanted and thought of him whenever you saw that purchase.

I, too, hope there is healing in the poems you've written.
April 15th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
Thank you, Jeni.

I'm glad it made you ask more questions. When I get to revising these first drafts I'll have to think about possibly going farther with this one.

The truth is, he never paid a dime of child support and that $7 was the only money my mom got from when I was a year old and she took him to court.

And yes, this process is very healing, thank you.
April 15th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
I love your poems!
April 15th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
Thank you, Patty.
April 15th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
tanita says :)
Oh, Susan.
I very much remember a blouse in second grade, bought from a thrift store - a gift which had more magnitude than perhaps it should have.

...Seven whole dollars.
I wonder what you spent it on.
April 24th, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
Re: tanita says :)
It's another thing I didn't know until I was all grown. It was supposed to be child support but that's all he ever paid. I need to revise the poem to be more clear.
( 12 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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