A letter to a book called Forgiveness

A0CCC8A2-E69E-4080-8934-5EFC8135CA5FYou rest on my lap
open at the last page
one dog on my left
one dog at my right
like bookends
(as when the boys slept
beside their mother)
I say goodbye
your stories were
not of heaven
they shifted
puzzle pieces
under my skin
and so, dear book,
“Forgiveness—a Gift from my Grandparents”,
I’ll abandon all pretence
of worldliness and confess
you astonished me
with brutal history and
personal honesty
you moved me
with a memoir of a young man
your grandfather
his life nearly ended
before and during
the prison camp in Japan
a place of unimaginable terrors
you moved me
with a memoir of a young woman
your grandmother
on Canada’s west coast
her family’s banishment
(for the crime of being Japanese)
to a shack on the Prairies
they suffered
poverty, heartbreak, humiliation
details that stick
their lives under pressure
they persisted
no matter how much
lice, bed bugs, fleas…
And through it all, choices were made
to reject shame, to not cast blame, to forgive
choices guided
by temperament, love, spiritual wisdom
Thank you dear book…
may you be read by many.


Bjorn at dVerse recently invited us to write letter poems.  Intrigued by the form, it took me a bit of time to settle on to whom my letter would be addressed.  My recipient is a book, “Forgiveness: A Gift from my Grandparents” written by Mark Sakamoto and published in 2014 by HarperCollins.

©2018 Ontheland

7 thoughts on “A letter to a book called Forgiveness

  1. Wow!! Janice, this is wonderfully poetic and original… it works brilliantly in addressing the letter to the book, giving the reader insight to the contents and how you were moved. A joy to read … and I’m making a note of the book!

    Liked by 1 person

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