Kristin LaTour

A Letter to a Daughter

I do not know where you went
after the man with the gentle face
and large brown eyes took your
hand. Your father was given
money, and I was given tears
and later, a branch on my back
for not stopping them.

Soon you will be ten, be taller
than when I last saw you.
The grass grows as high as my shoulder
but you were already beyond that
seeing far into the distance.
What do you see
in the land where you are?

I eat but nothing has taste.
I wish for sweetness where you are
and good meat. Soon you’ll be 16
and be wanting to know what I have
to tell you about children and marriage
the things I did not think of when you were
eight and in my arms.

I send my message on monsoon clouds
to blow through your hair
and on the beaks of small birds
to tweet into your windows.
There is more to life than what is given to us.
There is more in what is taken away.

I'm still teaching at a community college outside Chicago where my stated job is to teach writing, and my real job is to get people to think about the world around them. I have a poem about immigration issues in the US forthcoming in Dirtcakes. My website is

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