My grandmother tells me the story of her father’s abandonment at every holiday dinner, every time we drive past the birthplace of her legacy. There, that’s the house I grew up in, the one on the hill, and I expect her to scream, or cry, or laugh, but she says nothing. She lets the silence fill the story in for her. I dismiss my father’s call for the third time this week, and every time I do, she reminds me At least your father calls at all. Fatherhood is an illness my family refuses to treat, the missing link in our bloodline that no one seems to notice. I watch my grandmother through the kitchen door read the letters addressed to me from my father, and part of me wants to scream, but the other part lets her continue, because maybe she likes to imagine his letters as the ones she never received from her own. The other day she told me her father finally died at 95. I asked if she went to the funeral, but she just laughed and said He’s been dead to me for 63 years. I don’t ask why she never sent the letters she’s rewritten to him over the years. Sometimes it’s easier to imagine having a dead father than one who left.
Sarena Pollock (she/her/hers) is a poet and artist from Pottstown, Pennsylvania. She is an upcoming graduate of Susquehanna University studying Creative Writing, where she is an Intern for Santa Fe Writers Project and President of SU Slam Poetry Club. You can find her work in the latest issues of Honey & Lime and Metamorphosis - Paragon Press.