Jeddie Sophronius

Poem to a Father


After all this time


my return is still inconvenient:

you have to set up a mattress & pillows


out of dusty self-help books.


I no longer have my own room


& I can’t find my violin. You say it’s because I slept

with a Moslem girl.


I guess home is a purgatory


where fathers offer their children’s rooms in return for heaven.


This pillow says: To forgive one must say the name out loud,

one must pronounce “Father” properly. 


Don’t you agree,


My home


is a sculpture of my past,

a childhood song


I no longer remember?




In this shelter of a sunken temple


I submerged myself to sleep,

to find my body


in the hands of a drowned God.


He sank when he crossed the oceans to find my mother.


He gently starts praying with his eyes

as though they were looking at a dead body.


The way I say “Father” sounds like a broken violin.


I can see now, this God,


he is made of stone,


his head & cheeks are dry,


like the once bleeding hands

of the sculptor who created him.




Sleep now in this strange city


this moving castle.

Forget your son,


put a blanket over your head.


It will protect you from bad dreams.


Look at my wrists, I am still alive. There’s no need to worry,

I have had many homes,


Jakarta, Indonesia


Perth, Australia.


Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Homes, but none where I had a father.


Once, I went to school carrying an empty bag.


Now I drift between oceans:


ancestry & my mother’s old stories.

Sometimes I wish I was the farmer’s son,


plowing the fields with his father.


Jeddie Sophronius was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is a senior at Western Michigan University, majoring in English with an emphasis in creative writing. He currently lives in Kalamazoo.

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