The Best I Can Say by Mary Ardery

Issue 13


It is Saturday morning.
They planted grass seed yesterday.
All good here,
beyond me.
Mom loved reading
the magazines.
We mark time with rituals and pictures—
a mother and father,
three little girls—
the real world
is not a straight line progression.
I’m struggling,
but I wake up every morning
and remember
that we are
much more than fine.
You’ve been like that forever—
even in those moments when doubt threatens your faith.
The chaos,
the demons,
are waxing and waning.
The best I can say is
see you soon.

Source: Letters from my dad 2015-2018

Method: Thinking ahead to Father’s Day, I pulled out excerpts from handwritten letters from my dad over the past few years. I rearranged them to create a letter addressed to him, constructed by his own words addressed to me. Each line break represents a change in which letter I pulled the phrase from. The punctuation (and much of the capitalization) is my own.

Mary is from Bloomington, IN. You can find more of her work on Parks & Points, Sweet Tree Review, and right here on Unlost Journal. She is currently pursuing an MFA at Southern Illinois University.