thirty years grudge

by Len Freeman

he bought his wife a

red MG for valentine’s one year


and the next he shot himself

and I had to identify the pieces


of what was left

of his head and his face


laying on its side

like a flattened blond flour sack


that I had to tell his family about

but not what I saw.


six months later his two year old

took my hand and asked me


why did you take my daddy away.


thirty years on and I still wonder

what was that stupid sonovabitch


About the Author

Len Freeman, a veteran religious journalist, has lived a fairly rich experiential life —from being a chaplain at San Quentin prison, to a bodyguard for MLK Jr in a Boston civil-rights parade, to dealing with suicides, murders, new babies, old grandmothers, and all the joys and pains in between across the socio-economic spectrum. In addition to awards for his writing and television work, he was head of communications for Washington National Cathedral and Trinity Church Wall Street in New York.