Partial Letter Found in a Hymnal by Sheriff Epp’s Daughter, age 12 Friendship Methodist Church, Three Weeks After the Funeral

by Shannon Amidon

Just because I let you touch me like a husband today
does not mean you ever will again. When the hail
thrashed your shoulders and rain painted your shirt to them,
I took pity, invited you in from your work
in my garden. Though I opened the door to you
with no one else home and only weather for witness,

hear me: I give you no false hope that this winter
you will sip my homemade wine or rest your boots
under the red oak table fashioned

for me as a wedding gift. You mean only
that I am the same girl I have been when
I’ve felt alone and frightened of the dark –

Author’s note: These five poems are from the second section of the manuscript “Wish for an Unknown Color,” which tells the story of a crime of passion that takes place in the piney hills of North Louisiana. Another group is forthcoming in Willow Springs.