Dear Dad

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting The Bar:  Critique & Craft – “Meet the bar with a letter”   (posted by Bjorn)

“The form of writing a letter to someone, real or imaginary is one of the oldest forms of poetry dating back to Horace and Ovid and has been used throughout history.

It can be in the form of a love letter to a dear one, an open letter to a wider audience or a letter to a imaginary friend, in many cases it’s really a letter to yourself.

Most important when you write a letter is to clearly think who the letter is addressed to. Often the title of the poem becomes the address of the letter. You can start the poem as you do with letters, dear N.N. or you can abstain. Maybe it could be a “Dear John” letter.

The second thing is to think of a place where you are writing from. Are you traveling maybe, or alone with the echoes of your room?

The last thing to think is why you are writing the letter. Do you want to tell them something exciting, scold or advice? Do you want to engage an audience to your cause? Do you want to tell a story, or do you just want to somebody to answer you? Maybe you are writing to a wall.”

Dear Dad,

As March 4th nears, I hold back
my tears until that morning
when I will again light
a remembrance candle, burning
brightly for twenty-four hours.

I watch my nephew exhibit
so many of your traits–kindness,
caring, sharing. Reminiscent
of you, he has his oatmeal
with molasses, loves soup,
pasta e fagioli, and sweets,
or as you called them,

I think of all the nicknames
you would have for our sad,
cartoonish politicians.   What
your reaction would be
to Smart phones, and texting.

I think of you watching in horror at
the senseless violence wrought
on the children of our nation.

Are you smiling–proud that I have
continued my writing? Are you lighting
a cigar, which you were banned
from as you aged? I miss you.
All the pictures I have of you
are not you. They smile in stillness;
you were life itself.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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20 Responses to Dear Dad

  1. trishwrites1 says:

    Stunning Sara- brought tears


  2. lifelessons says:

    So touching and so revealing about your dad and your relationship to him, Sara.


  3. memadtwo says:

    I too wonder what my father would think about current events. We still keep those conversations in our hearts…(K)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kathleen says:

    A beautiful rememorial


  5. Mish says:

    It is so interesting to think about what our loved ones who have passed, would think of society as we know it now. This was a very moving piece that choked me up a bit as I lost my dad in my early twenties. He also smoked cigars he was told not to.


  6. I wonder too… part of me are afraid of what my father would be… he had his good sides and some bad… But I think that there would be things he would have seen in horror.


  7. … they smile in stillness. A very heartfelt poem.


  8. merrildsmith says:

    This is so touching! I miss my dad, too, and I often wonder what he’d make of smart phones and Facebook and such. Oh, he’d be ranting away at the current politicians, for sure.


  9. Grace says:

    Very sweet and touching! I love your letter tribute to your dad.


  10. MYRNA ZACH says:

    He is missed by many of his extended family too, especially me.



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