Estrangements

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I found this telling poem written by William Pitt Root in a book called I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You.

A man and his wife are estranged.

They have a child

they love.

The child returns from a visit

with the father

carrying a sack of candy

the mother sees and takes

and throws away.

The child cries, the mother cries,

the father, if he knew,

would cry.

The father knows.

His wife has told him

of that illness, often.

How the hands chill,

the eyes glaze.

But the father loves the child

and the child loves the father.

Neither has a full knowledge of love

and there are things

to be put in love’s place.

So the child cries, the mother cries,

and the father, if he knew,

would cry.

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