Monday, December 28, 2020

Diana Powell Lukoff

LAST DAY, 1966

Daddy, I don't want to live anymore.

The desert zooms by
in a blur.
Lizards and sand;
red rocks understand.
I wish I were out there
I wish I were a star
Far, far, far
I wish I were a tree
on Mars
I wish I knew
How to make you
I'm sorry
I can't die on cue.
But Daddy
this is for you:
I don't want to live anymore.

I wish I were out there.
The red rocks understand
And want to help me;
Lizards in the sand
want me to be free.

I wish I were out there
With the lizards and the sand;
the red rocks understand
and want to help me:
Look at them so far away,
wind-smooth and sun-warm.
A swarm
of locusts would descend
to be my friends
And I would be king
of us all, and
a quiet rain
would start to fall.
We'd get in a cave
and play charades
until dawn.

Just drop me off, Daddy;
I promise I won't tell.
I'll be a nice king
all the rest of my days
with the lizards and the locusts in the haze.

Diana reads "Last Day, 1966":

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Diana confesses: "This poem is based on the death of Jeffrey Fouquet, abused by his parents, Ronald and Betty Lansdown Fouquet. I learned of the Fouquets from a Joan Didion essay that mentions a crime they committed against another of their children."

DIANA POWELL LUKOFF, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, worked as a copy editor at The Commercial Appeal before moving to Bellingham, Washington in 2005 to work as an AmeriCorps reading tutor. She lives in Bellingham with her husband and dog.


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

I find this incredibly haunting and even more so with the recital by the author. This one sticks in my crawl as they say. Good job!

Unknown said...

So glad to see you are still writing and giving voice to the voiceless. The imagery of the desert is both lovely and lonely. Reading about this case broke my heart. I would love to hear from you.
Hey-Hey, Mee-Ay

Diana said...

OMG, my dear long-lost friend, so wonderful to hear from you! Are you at the same address? I'll write you a letter! And what a sweet comment, thank you!

Unknown said...

Yes, same address for 25 years! Please write:) Or you can send your address to Mom on FB.