A Prayer – Kate Wilson

for my father




The trees always struck me as waiting for

the next new ice age, for the unbecoming, and

for the rot that trailed them ever present.

We used to walk with them pointing out

the ways they convened and then didn’t. It

was there you taught me ‘innocuous,’ said

it was a synonym for ‘Kate’. Said I could

have been born boy but wasn’t. Said you

were expecting a boy, but weren’t surprised.



I moved to another place where there are

fewer trees. A forest of remembrance and

the things we did not say but should have.

We both have our own deserts now. Mine

of sandstone and red rock, yours of quartz

and granite. I no longer stuff my pockets

full of rocks or beg you to carry the would-

have-been boulders you bled to transport.

I miss the old growth and the words.



I have yet to find a lake that I could run into

without fear of shame. There are no

craters with intermingling trees, nor

dictionaries for missing fathers. My name

is no longer pure or harmless. There is so

much becoming and the trees still hold

their secrets. I do not long for glaciers,

only the calloused hands that moved

them. Only for the blood that carried them.

Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and attends Westminster College. They are an interview correspondent with Half Mystic Press and serve as a poetry editor for ellipsis… Literature & Art and Rose Quartz Magazine. Their work can be found with Pressure Gauge Press and Philosophical Idiot, among others.

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