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.




Shoshauna Shy‘s poetry has recently been published courtesy of IthacaLit, Hartskill Review, RHINO, Gulf Stream and Sliver of Stone. She has flash fiction in the public arena or slated to appear thanks to A Quiet Courage, 100 Word Story, Fiction Southeast, Literary Orphans, Sou’wester and Prairie Wolf Press Review.