The Poem

by Jeni Rall

His father had poetic aspirations. This is what my husband tells me now, his hand across his mouth, head bent. He dislikes the memory. I imagine the scene: a third shift postal worker comes to his son with a poem in his palm about mockingbirds and weeping. "Maybe he was trying to connect," I offer, but my husband shrugs as if he’s still that fifteen year old boy, afraid of the father who sleeps in daylight, embarrassed by silence broken with rhyme. "I remember it wasn’t very good," my husband says at last, "and I haven’t written a poem since."


Jeni Rall lives and writes in the sausage capitol of Texas.