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Roman Father

by Duane Herrmann

Roman soldier wrote   

home to his wife -   

the letter survived   

two thousand years   

against all odds   

of war and fire and wet.

His attitude reflected   

the social order.

He was the Lord   

of her life and children;   

his command was law,   

her law to obey.

She had no choice.

She would soon give birth,   

he would not be home   

so wrote his instruction:   

“If the baby is a girl   

kill it.”

About the Author

Duane L. Herrmann, internationally published, award-winning poet and historian, has held a variety of teaching and other positions, now retired. His history and poetry have won awards and are translated into several languages. His sci-fi novel: Escape from Earth, has just been published. His full-length collections of poetry are: Prairies of Possibilities, Ichnographical: 173, and Praise the King of Glory. His poetry has received the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship, inclusion in American Poets of the 1990s, the Map of Kansas Literature (website), Kansas Poets Trail and others. His history, By Thy Strengthening Grace, received the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award in 2007. Collections of short stories and historical articles are forthcoming. These accomplishments defy his traumatic childhood embellished by dyslexia, ADD and, now, PTSD.

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