Dead Letter Office: Bettina Harris

Author | David M. Harris

Dear Mom:

“I’ll make you proud.” 
The last time I spoke to you, 
I wasn’t sure if your hearing
had shut down, but I promised.
You died early the next morning.

How can we satisfy the dead?
I went back to my job, published a novel.
I was proud; would you have been? 
I married, went back to school,
became a teacher. Did that fulfill
the promise? You had been proud
to become a teacher. I divorced, wrote
poetry, left teaching. Are abandonments
always failures? I married again. 
Would you be proud?
I’m generally happy.

About the Author | David M. Harris until 2003, David M. Harris had never lived more than fifty miles from New York City. Since then he has moved to Tennessee, married, acquired a daughter and a classic MG, and gotten serious about poetry. All these projects seem to be working out pretty well. His work has appeared in Pirene’s Fountain (and in First Water, the Best of Pirene’s Fountain anthology), Gargoyle, The Labletter, The Pedestal, and other places. His first collection of poetry, The Review Mirror, was published by Unsolicited Press in 2013.

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