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Ancestral

I never knew my Grandpa.

We have only a faded daguerreotype.

But we kids had found out what we weren’t supposed to

Through fortuitous eavesdropping.

He had just gone into his barn one day

And done the deed with his own shotgun.

Then, when I was twenty,

My troubled old Dad said a thing

All alone (he thought) “I wish I was dead”

We were not very close,

But that was when I grieved for him the most.

Dad got his wish, within a year.

Then, an older brother, a generation apart,

A figure we so looked up to,

Suddenly so sad and lost.

His wife, at her wit’s end, slapped him hard

And said snap out of it.

I blame her not, for she knew not what to do.

These kinds of things were not talked about.

She was not angry, but desperate.

And now I, in later life,

Have been visited by this haunting heredity of the family tree.

I knew not, for the first while, what the trouble was,

But can now liken it to a dark drop of ink

Instilled into a glass of clear water,

Muddying into uniform grey.

There are things, though, that I have

That these others had not.

We know what it is about.

We may talk more openly.

We seek help and are encouraged by some.

And we can feel blameless, when they could not.

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Lee Dunn View All

Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.

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