about the author

Carla Barger holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has written art reviews for gallery catalogs and her poetry has appeared in Ink: A Literary Journal and in two photography books titled Objet d’Art and Metal. Her poem “Upon My 40th Spring” is forthcoming in Green Hills Literary Lantern. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor in Chicago.

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Dear Little Me 

Carla Barger

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It’s true

He was no good father

Throwing stern and strap

Down the dusty corridors of

The long barn while

The horses hazed the air

With hoof and feed dust

Smudging the light

Streaming from the fields

Turning it the color of filth

And smoke-choke

Like the living room from Sundays lost

When he again became son

Stern and strap lifting and landing

Still and weekly and always

Breaking fresh that broken man

Shoulders rounded and receded

Tall grass bending under

Perpetual winter frost.

In the buzzing heat of the loft

Boards blistered and broke

Under the rusty chains

Of the hay trolley

A frizz of child’s hair reached out

From around the tiny trembles

As if prospecting for an escape

Even then

There was no choice.

He was no good father

That father of his.

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