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To My Birthfather, Located on the Social Security Death Register
by Wilda Morris

I wanted to tell you
your absence left a hole
no one else could fill,
that Mother didn't harp
on your shortcomings,
didn't raise us on tales
of your bad deeds.
She never explained the divorce
till we were old enough to ask.

I want to know if you liked sports,
what was your favorite cake,
if you walked in the woods
or played golf. Did you read books?
What movies did you like, what music?

If we'd lived together, would you
have taken me to the park,
taught me to swim and dance?
Would you have told me
my eyes are beautiful,
that I look lovely in brown?

Did you ever wonder
if I remembered you?
Did our separation
leave a hole in you, too?


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