Mona Van Duyn, the first female poet laureate of US and a Pulllitzer Prize winner, died this past week. I was unfamiliar with her poetry until a friend introduced me to her "Letters From A Father" a few years ago. I've admired her writing ever since.
Letters from a Father
Ulcerated tooth keeps me awake, there is
such pain, would have to go to the hospital to have
it pulled or would bleed to death from the blood thinners,
but can't leave Mother, she falls and forgets her salve
and her tranquilizers, her ankles swell so and her bowels
are so bad, she almost had a stoppage and sometimes
what she passes is green as grass.There are big holes
in my thigh where my leg brace buckles the size of dimes.
My head pounds from the high pressure.It is awful
not to be able to get out, and I fell in the bathroom
and the girl could hardly get me up at all.
Sure thought my back was broken, it will be next time.
Prostate is bad and heart has given out,
feel bloated after supper. Have made my peace
because am just plain done for and have no doubt
that the Lord will come any day with my release.
You say you enjoy your feeder, I don't see why
you want to spend good money on grain for birds
and you say you have a hundred sparrows, I'd buy
poison and get rid of their diseases and turds.
Mona Van Duyn
want to hear her voice ?