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Dad Called It Tact

He only gave bad news when we were alone
in the car, driving along the mountain road I loved in fall
so when I asked, he said, I don’t know, Love. I don’t know

why,
but he promised it would pass. I had no
words—it stole my breath—but in his usual
way, he gave me the news when we were alone.

It was always something worse each time we’d go
to lunch or a backyard party—or when he’d call
and I’d ask why he didn’t know. Love, I don’t know

all the details yet,
but we’d put our trust in chemo-
therapy, and prayer. A year later, they hadn’t caught it all,
and when he gave the news, we were alone

in a steakhouse, for my birthday lunch—although
a few weeks late, as usual. If he was sick, I couldn’t tell,
so I asked if he felt it. No, Love. He didn’t know

when we’d meet next, that I screamed at the phone
after hanging up, if he’d still be okay that fall,
that he only gave bad news when we were alone,
or that I never asked why he didn’t know love. He didn’t know.
Poem #5 from my Poetry Portfolio, submitted today in my Creative Writing class. It's a villanelle, my first, and I cannot express how much I enjoyed working with this form. Mmm. Tasty.
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:iconyoggington:
Yoggington Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2006
My moms like that. Only gives me bad news in the car, when its just the two of us.
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:icontragiccomedy:
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2006
what is it with parents and doing that??

grr
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:iconrushy:
Rushy Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2006
Interesting meter to this one, had to read it aloud a few times before I got really into the flow :D
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:icontragiccomedy:
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2006
it's not supposed to have any real set metre ^^; it was more supposed to just have the repeated lines. but eh, i worked my ass off on it. glad you liked it? i think :)
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:iconchibiyin:
chibiyin Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2006   Writer
Ouch. Villanelles are fun, though I've never written one of my own. :D
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:icontragiccomedy:
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2006
villanelles are brilliant. i want to dabble more in this area; it's constricting in the most fascinating way.
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:iconchibiyin:
chibiyin Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2006   Writer
That's a phrase you don't hear very often ;)
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:icontragiccomedy:
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2006
yeah, you know how i am.
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:iconchibiyin:
chibiyin Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2006   Writer
Yeah...
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:icontragiccomedy:
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2006
don't look at me in that tone of voice!!!!
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:iconchibiyin:
chibiyin Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2006   Writer
"What else is solid?"
"A rotting corpse. Well... the not rotting part."
"See? Michael=pure evil."
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:icontragiccomedy:
tragiccomedy Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2006
AHAHAHAHAH. oh man, i needed that.
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