It is true, my father died screaming
my name. The sound flew from his throat
on waves of antiseptic and scrubbed-
raw floors, wafting into a.m. hours
sixty years ago, and I’m still not over it—
still, that sound carried on midnight quiet
has followed me from coast to mountains,
across great lakes
to settle in dreams, and I run to his bedside,
watch his soul travel with that last breath,
now a whisper.
received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Honolulu University. She is Editor Emeritus and founding poetry editor of Rattle. Two of her books have been entrants for the Pulitzer Prize: Firecracker Red, a powerful collection of poems set squarely in the earth; and Crossing The Double Yellow Line, a journey of sharp turns and hair-pin curves. Her work has appeared in three additional volumes: After I Fall, a collection of four Los Angeles poets; Over To You, an exchange of poems with David Widup; and 13 Los Angeles Poets, the ONTHEBUS Poets Series Number One (Bombshelter Press).
In 2013, Dr. Lee won the grand prize, “Poetry to Aid,” from Humanity Al Falah in Malaysia. Early in 2020, her collection of new and selected poems Queen of Jacks was released by Bombshelter Press. Her work has also been published in numerous literary journals, including Paterson Review, Connecticut Review, Margie, and The American Poetry Review. As a lecturer and teacher, she conducts workshops throughout the United States, and teaches privately. She was born in the year of the dragon.
Author’s website: www.stellasuelee.com