A Letter from a Parent to a Child

I held my own as I watched you breathe
your first breaths of life. Reminded again
it is better to give than to receive.

I paced the floors while you struggled to teethe,
hoping to comfort you through the pain.
I held my own as I watched you breathe.

I accepted your home-made Christmas wreath
that scratched the door and left many a stain.
It is better to give than to receive.

I stayed at your bedside when you hit that tree
after your car skidded in the rain.
I held my own as I watched you breathe.

Sobbing as the doctor told what would never be,
I agreed to donate what could live again.
It is better to give than to receive.

Teary-eyed a stranger shared how he could now see.
Another spoke of lungs no longer under strain.
I held my own as I watched you breathe.
It is better to give than to receive.

2008
I came across an article in the December 2008 issue of the magazine The Writer that explained the origin and structure of a villanelle, and this is my initial attempt at constructing one. It originated in France in the 16th century, inspired by rustic dances. After fading for awhile, it was revived in the 19th century. It consists of only 19 lines (5 3-line stanzas & 1 concluding 4-line stanza) and contains only two rhymes. Finally, it relies on repetends – the regular repitition of the 1st and 3rd lines in their entirety throughout the poem.

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One Response

  1. Melissa – that is beautiful!!!! I am so proud of you! LOL

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