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Louie Skipper: The Beginning


I keep trying to persuade my father

into a better opinion of me now that he is dead.


Last night, flying home,

I was distracted

as a passenger seated himself

a few rows ahead of me,

by how much the back of his head

resembled my father’s.

I continued reading,

only now I was reading to my father

thousands of feet below

in a cemetery

many hours away through the dark.


What is noon but midnight turned inside out?

The hardest part of any journey is remaining

where you are

until you have figured out where that is.


Several days before cancer killed my son’s mother,

she quietly asked me to plant daffodils

that came up months later

outside the doorway of a friend

wise enough to speak to her only of flowers.

My voice is made mostly of silence.

The rest of my words have very little to say.

A single shooting star falls so quickly its silence

keeps falling after.


Sappho, Mary Magdalene: They do not think alike, but they do

think in the same size.

My last hope is for the death of hope—

the beginning of vision.

The sun passing over me from the inside out.

Copyright 2018 Louie Skipper. From The Work Ethic of the Common Housefly (Settlement House, 2018).


Louie Skipper is an Episcopal priest and college chaplain to Montgomery Episcopal Campus Ministries in Montgomery, Alabama. He has published three books of poetry.

2 comments on “Louie Skipper: The Beginning

  1. Gerald Fleming
    January 16, 2020

    Lovely poem, rings deep & wide.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. allisonfine
    January 16, 2020

    Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Lyrical. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2020 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , , , , .

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