The letter My Father Will Never Write

The Letter My Father Will Never Write
In the letter my father will never write,
he tells my mother he loves her. Nothing more.
I love you, in small, cramped script.
His hand hurts, gripping the pen so tightly
to keep from going on and on,
so used to qualifying,
giving parameters that explain-
of course, in spite of, because-
Stripped to the bone,
this new syntactical arrangement
catches them both off guard.
She turns the page over, looking for more.
After almost 50 years,
she has come to expect equivocation.
In dance class, before they were married,
they stumbled together
until they mastered the fox trot,
until each could anticipate with certainty
where the next step would fall,
when to glide and when to turn.
They practiced until it was so smooth
that all evidence of hard work was erased.
By:
Susan Kaye

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