poem, poetry, Uncategorized

A Letter to William

All we know is that she was from Smyrna

And like mother, was a teacher.

 

Who gave birth to two boys

and was wed to a writer like me.

 

I was told

that before her photo was stolen,

she looked like you.

Which is to say, you are a walking remnant of the family I may never know.

 

When Americans adopt babies, they never imagine the consequences of separating

siblings for the sake of some image

and how in building a family,

they break the one that’s left behind.

 

When eyes move about a city that has crossed strangers tied to their own blood

the sounds of celebrations remind me of my phantom philia

and the life I could live

if I knew more about the woman from Smyrna.

-A. Struthers

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