John Arndt
 

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John Arndt is a poet and playwright working in New York City and in South Florida. His plays and poetry have been produced and published throughout the country. He has worked with Tennessee Williams and Robert Patrick on plays and with Thomas McGrath and Mark Vinz on poetry ... Poetry is the darkness made light.

     Letter To My Father
                        10/22/2002
I can write this Dad, now that you are dead
Without your reprisals or denials
I'm finally safe from you
And all that's left is love.
I'll always have your hard-won wisdoms
From all your inborn hates and natural graces
It bears me through these shallow, selfish days alone here
So far from home and in the deep seas of my own hatreds.
I remember most of all your horses
The harness nags that pulled you through the farm at Hendricks
You the youngest of all those boys
And Blacky, the only horse you ever owned
I know how much you loved him, more than me, I always thought
How very much it hurt to lose him
When Albert rode him so hard that night
And never bothered to put him up.
I know your pain in that, that pain that lasted all your life.
And then to lose your Daddy's farm
Somewhere in the dust of the dirty Thirties
Killing your youth just for the dirt of it, the pain building
And later, slaving on your brother's land
Never getting nothing, just the chance to be close to it
It was all you ever had and never enough to fill your need.
Then there was Mother
And that hard winter's drive to Ruthton
Behind the horses and the hay rack stacked ten high with hope
All that robust desire, pouring out across those hills. . .
Tell me Father. . .Where did it go?
I know you cannot say but still, I know it anyway.
Your life was a picture drawn out with your own blood and mine
The move to town, that hovel out by the Indians
I know how that hurt you too
Giving up your only ever dream
Of a farm and ten thousand Blackys
Pile on six kids to feed
Busting your butt for a living wage that killed you day by day
Week by week, year by year
Nothing was ever very clear.
We finally fished it out though, didn't we. . .
Through that decade we spent on the lake
No words were ever spoken, none were ever needed
Just the water. . .and you. . .and me
I am clean now and you are free

His father died the 18th of October

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