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A Letter To My Daughter

You are the sound

of a birds wings unfurling

the twitching of feathers

hovering above the shadows

Shimmering light

reflecting off the waves

in the bay of hope

And when you are born

and you grow up

I will have to bring to you a warning

There will be men

who bring shotgun tongues into peaceful houses

who drink just to float with the empty bottles

above their own histories

who carry manhood

like a dead wolf

slain across their shoulders

Men who say that the shortest distance

between two opinions

is a clenched fist

Who frequent bars

just to speak to each other

in voices louder than their own demons

no man can shout louder than his demons

My daughter there will be men

who take maximum credit

for making minimum effort

My daughter if history teaches us anything

Your great-great-grandmother visits me in dreams

she is always wearing black

she appears to me with the ghosts of women

who were stoned in the villages

who were burned in the town squares

abandoned by their husbands

or exiled by their fathers

women who had to raise sons

who they knew would one day raise their fists

against the town’s daughters

Η προ προ γιαγια σου

She tells me

every man must face his forefathers sins wilfully

unpack the boxes of the false prophets

unpick the patterns of power

un-ball his fists

decorate his own palms

in heritage and humility

or risk a forced reckoning

My daughter I’ve seen my own karma as a man

frozen like a tsunami

mid-surge above the roof of our house

I’ve seen the wounded inheritance

the hurt I’ve caused etched beneath my skin

my mistakes sit like sediment heavy in my lungs

and I’m still learning how to speak them

But you

you’re the sound of a bell chiming

the sound of the universe turning in a spiral

Your great great grand-mother visits me in dreams

she’s always wearing black

but she is always turning soil

sowing seeds in the dirt for you

helping us cultivate

a clean tomorrow

-Luka Lesson

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