Strong together


Haltingly I undo the knots
around your parcel that came this morning.
A small box should require little labor,
but you’ve always been thorough,
tying things tight and well.
The twine lengthens,
curls beside the box.
I see your fingers bind and pull,
snapping the knots into place
(once your belt slapped sharply against my skin)
You hoped the package would hold its shape
Across 10,000 miles of ocean.

It’s not a bride’s superstition
that leaves the scissors in the drawer.
Unravelling what you’ve done with love
I practice more than patience
a kind of thoroughness
I couldn’t see before.
I shall not let it pass.
My father, this undoing is
what binds us.


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