Bitter Winter

Forgiveness hangs flimsy between you
and the raw truth you've come to know:
Resentments do come home to roost, to peck, to force you
into navigating fatherhood from your knees. There are
explosives undetonated on your tongue, tasting
like guilt, goddamn and gunpowder all swirled together
You teach yourself to swallow, to repent, to deny the
flames licking from your chest. Arms crossed, she bids you a bitter winter.

From Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks (Curbside Splendor Publishing, 2017) by Dasha Kelly Hamilton. Copyright © 2017 by Dasha Kelly Hamilton. Used with the permission of the author.