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Missing Link

by Chris Sorrenti

never met my mother’s father
except in yellowed photograph
herself barely time to know him
passing away when she was only fifteen

at one of many funerals
we took time to visit his grave
buried among fellow soldiers
in row upon row of duplicate headstones
the only time in this world
three generations would be together

she cried out in a gush of tears
“oh daddy! what have they done to you???”
barely able to contain myself
at this flood of overwhelming grief
the pillar of my own life
reduced to the vulnerability of a little girl

quickly we walked away from the stone
with a name this day forward
would always mean so much more
me white as the marble
on which it was engraved

I made my way to the car
weakened at my own helplessness
and yet simultaneously bolstered
at how after all these years
the bond of blood and spirit
could be so strong
survive beyond the grave

© 2005

2,210 hits as of March 2020


Posted on 06/06/2005
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Maureen Glaude on 06/06/05 at 12:47 PM

this poem depicts many of its own mini-stories within it - or comments - ie how in the face of loss we're all small children again, vulnerable, and unclear of the whys, also the close moment of experience and observation between you and your mom at that time, the disappearance of her father from her life, all so moving and universal and touching. Beautifully told.

Posted by Rusty C Arquette on 06/06/05 at 02:36 PM

The economy of words belies the richness of image... You've gone right to the core and offered up emotion that is strong and not just drama... Thanks for sharing, Chris, this is the type of poetry I find the most truth in and the type I love to read again and again. - RCat

Posted by Ashok Sharda on 06/06/05 at 02:41 PM

Yes, what binds us together is the intensity and the quality of association.And these associations do not die with our deaths.Not even in our dreams.

Posted by Anne Engelen on 06/06/05 at 04:45 PM

i like the sensitive emotional load this piece carries. Enjoyed this read a lot!

Posted by Morgan D Hafele on 06/07/05 at 09:10 PM

it's amazing, the connections we have to family that we've never met. reading this almost felt like reading a page out of my own life. as always chris, wonderful read.

Posted by Christina Bruno on 06/10/05 at 07:04 PM

very nice work, i always wanted to meet my father's father. he died before i was born. beautiful piece

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 06/11/05 at 01:37 AM

Poignant, a most memorable event, love never forgets, a very beautiful tribute to what familial love should be about. Very moving!

Posted by Graeme Fielden on 06/14/05 at 01:58 AM

touchingly sentimental writing Chris. A strong sense of story conveyed in your vivid images. Nice work :)

Posted by Charles E Minshall on 06/15/05 at 02:17 AM

Heart wrenching poem Chris. I went through a similar thing with my mother but at my brothers grave...Charlie

Posted by Lauren Singer on 06/15/05 at 04:07 AM

a moving, spiritual, and beautiful piece you've written here chris. heart-wrenching, and powerful as always.

Posted by Carolyn Coville on 06/17/05 at 12:47 PM

i, too, have never known many family members (grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc) because they either passed away before i was born or i was too young to even get the chance to meet them..looking at their photographs and seeing their stones, i get these same feelings...an exceptional read

Posted by Glenn Currier on 06/19/05 at 11:33 PM

Their bond touched me beyond boundaries of time and space through your hand and heart. You express so well that moment of shared grief: "me white as the marble on which it was engraved" The poem took my breath away.

Posted by Karl Waldbauer on 07/08/06 at 07:06 AM

This is personal narrative poetry at its best and well deserves to be POTD. Congratulations, Chris.

Posted by Christel Crews on 07/08/06 at 01:47 PM

some bonds do seem to reach beyond death.. such a touching piece.. congrats on potd!

Posted by Vere Mantratriad on 07/08/06 at 03:07 PM

Absolutely stunning piece, I love how you end it...uplifting and beautiful. Fantastic POTD.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/08/06 at 03:17 PM

Well deserving of POTD. Deeply moving personally for you and to me timely in another, broader, sense.

Posted by David R Spellman on 07/08/06 at 05:24 PM

An excellent piece and great selection for POTD. Glad I happened in here today to see this. Congrats and well done!!

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 07/08/06 at 05:59 PM

Very powerful piece on the power of family and how they imoact your life...even in death. Very heartful and excellent as always! Congrats on POTD!

Posted by Mara Meade on 07/08/06 at 10:15 PM

Beautifully poignant, Chris...

This is what gets me in the gut...

quickly we walked away from the stone
with a name this day forward
would always mean so much more
me white as the marble
on which it was engraved
I so appreciate your honesty here. You owe me a box of kleenex...

Posted by Charles E Minshall on 07/08/06 at 11:19 PM

Congratulations on poem of the day Chris....Charlie

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 07/09/06 at 05:11 AM

Well said, Chris. Great potd choice!

Posted by Maureen Glaude on 07/10/06 at 05:10 PM

congrats belatedly on POTD for this lovely one.

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