Carlene Gadapee – Border Children – 3

 Border Children: My Seventy-Seven Year Old Father Sits in His Rocking Chair and Weeps 
by Carlene Gadapee

Choking out imprecations in between angry sighs, my father,
Always so good with words, can’t speak. Maybe it’s partly 
the dentures, but I don’t think so. He starts again, so sad and 
puzzled, and heaps damnation on those who would tear families
apart. He misses my mother. I do, too. No child should be 
separated from a parent. I tried to protect you from your mother’s anger. 
Years of judgment and impossible standards do as much 
as razor-wired walls can do. Maybe those desperate parents, 

those terrified children forced apart have a slim hope of being reunited 
without damage. I wonder about the prickly nature of relationships. 
Yet here I am, she’s dead, and we never found a good way to cross
borders. Some separations begin long before death. 
When we flee, we may save ourselves, but find 
more separation at impossible borders we cannot cross. 


Carlene M. Gadapee is a high school English teacher and part-time wordsmith in northern New Hampshire. She shares her small New England home with her husband, a bossy Chi-pin dog, and a few beehives. Carlene’s work has been published in Thimble, Parks and Points, The Henniker Review, Aurorean, Postcard Poems and Prose, Northern New England Review, and Sojourn (UT-Dallas).