Dear Mr. Whitman,

I picked up a hairy little leaf knowing,
As I did every cranny by heart,
How obscure the woods could get.

I came an awfully long way not simply
To listen to my dolly torque up
A little aspiration for the sun.

I was lost in my thoughts or, more
Properly, I was lost in you, Sir.
When I got back home, I had so many

Chores to do that didn’t seem worth
Their names. Now I ask you to help—
Please write me a note from the grave.

Because Daddy still doesn’t believe me
When I tell him that I’m afraid
To mow the grass. Always, Sylvia

Mark Yakich
from his book The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine
Penguin, 2008

Used with permission of the poet.

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