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Two Tankas (Line syllables 5-7-5-7-7)

In the past month, I have grieved for two families, students who have lost their fathers. Losing my dad at 40 was so hard, I cannot imagine what these children are going through.


Fatherless girl

Alone to fend for herself

Who will protect her

A long, lonely walk down the aisle

Porcelain doll so fragile


He flings the ball far

Into empty air, forlorn

Where once his dad stood

The large glove is now empty

And his hand is not yet grown.


5 thoughts on “Fatherless

  1. Such beautiful and powerful poems. I lost my dad too, when I was 35. He was so young. The same year one of my students (a fifth grader) lost her dad unexpectedly. Fathers and daughters share such a special bond and I think about that little girl all the time. What a gift you’ve given by sharing their grief through poetry. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Your poems express so much about these young children who are left without a father. My heart and prayers go out to them and their families and to you, who will be helping them get thru this difficult time in their lives.


  3. Paul

    These are haunting, Maya. “aisle” and “fragile” match up so nicely, emphasizing the concluding image. Empty air, empty glove, hand not grown…such fit and fluidity here, and the “large glove” such a metaphor for loss and the need a boy often faces to assume the father’s place in some way, ready or not. Beautiful, moving, memorable — bravo —


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