Today's poem is by Sarah Freligh
Lullaby for the Daughter I Gave Away
Sometimes I write a letter of resignation to the universe
and sometimes I forget to stamp the envelope, never
without an argument. I used to believe
fact and truth were the same thing,
though I learned to lie without smiling.
And now all I have is a picture of an old castle.
If I pin the picture above my desk,
the prince will turn into a handsome frog,
and he will grow a backbone and learn how
to leap when I call him.
And I'll whisper, it's okay, you can save me.
Be my sex.
I can never remember what to call him.
In fact, my father said I'd end up with a toad, a
cold-blooded croaker. My mother used to say
that if they drained the swamp, I'd find
a date for the prom if I wasn't
too picky. I moved out soon after.
Tragic, she said, to have a daughter who never writes home.
But now, at last, I've mucked
through that swamp, arrived spry
as a froglet at the altar of my desk
and I forget I'm still wet and cold;
I can't grasp a pen, and if I could
I wouldn't write home. But if I did, I'd say
I'm okay, you can forget me. You can be
my heavy bag.
Someday, I'll be a sore hip,
invisible. Because the
ink on the letter is black and forever
will read them out loud, the Gone will haunt us
and the skeletons will barge out of closets
and riffle through refrigerators for
the tongues they left behind.
Let them speak. You can be my frog, my toad, my letter home.
Be my baby. My return address.
Copyright © 2013 Sarah Freligh All rights reserved
from A Brief Natural History of an American Girl
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!
Web Weekly Features
About Verse Daily
Submit to Verse Daily
Copyright © 2002-2013 Verse Daily
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2002-2013 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved