The letter arrives in the morning
mail, blue envelope postmarked
Shiloh, Tennessee. Addressed not
to me — You pluck from my hands,
then race upstairs to sanctum
of Girl, Sixteen.
Now her photograph sits propped
flanked by white tapers, their wicks
burnt black against your windowpane –
For My Alyssa at Last
penciled on the back, her smile
magnetized by your searchlight’s beam.
In a room for years sealed
against my tread, stealthy your steadfast
to-the-collar companion, finally delivered
this testimony that proves
your face echoes the face
of another woman –
You are truly a daughter.