A Shattering Truth

You and Dad tried to conceive for twelve years before you decided to adopt. You told me that story often enough: how I grabbed your pinky when you visited candidate babies, and you knew I was the one. But what happened when Robert was born?

He came two-and-a-half years after me, the child you for whom you waited those twelve years. When he did, I become the sign, not only of how long you waited, but what you became: the birth mother of a handicapped child.

If that’s so for you, how much more so was that for Dad?

You both had buried that shame. But it sickened us all, as all secrets do. And this is the truth that we never told.

And never will.

empty rooms
how quickly you turn the page
of your photo album


photo by Denny Müller


Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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