Writing Catalog

Emilia Ullom

Grade: 11

Bay Village High School

Instructor: Erin Beirne

to the ends of the earth


to the ends of the earth

i see you standing there, a look so fragile upon your face
it seems you could instantaneously shatter. She left you here, in a world
that stops for no man, no woman, no child.
a far deeper understanding might have coated my soul if i were present
for the fury which must have clung unbearably thick to your throat
throughout your bitter adolescence
unpleasant beginnings one would not wish to recall

oh, but the power you unknowingly withheld as I've
watched it spark our lives with purpose everyday of my pampered existence.
i see the little things you do and the way your eyes
glitter with content when you play me a new song
or when you lecture me about sports
or when you throw your ingredients into a delicious heap, a magnificent mess
that turns out beautifully each time,
because you are the sugar, the butter, the flour
you are the chef -- you lead your kitchen with dignity

you have made yourself everything that you are.
even as she threw you into the world's ruthless wreckage which
i am thankful i will never know
you -- small and alone --
wept beneath a sky of similar nature, and i weep for you now
but i do not weep not with you. i have no right.
coffee-colored filters wash the photo, coating your diminutive figure by the door,
and i can't help but think about if i was there next to you,
holding your hand in mine and muttering soft reassurances

what an honor it is to share this life with one another
she would not do even that with her own son
but who am i to assume your mother's motives?
no matter her reasons, you were tear-stained and battered and
i offer these words as my embrace to him -- to that boy on the steps --
to that fighter and lover and everything in between.

it is of pure appreciation and acceptance which i can only hope you recognize
for although i may not always show it
you, my father, have made something of this mess you have been handed.
out of the ashes, a new flame ignites
you have risen up from shadows and into your own light
you hand that light to me and i cup it gently in my palms
you have given me your self-made sun.

with these final words, i beg that you hold my words close and
may you never forget
my eternal love for you and all that you've given me
i praise you always for all that you've taught me.
you and i are the same person, you have always declared so with immense pride
which i cradle close to my prospering heart with a smile

so father, know this always and forever,
that i will follow you to the ends of the earth,
for it is the least you deserve.

-to the ends of the earth