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Get ready to hear from northern Illinois’ “prose pros." Poetically Yours airs Fridays during Here and Now at 12:31 and All Things Considered at 6:18 p.m. Hosted by WNIJ Arts Reporter Yvonne Boose, you will hear voices from northern Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This weekly segment will give you a moment of pause and reflection as your wind down the week. If you would like to submit a poem for consideration, please send submissions to yboose@niu.edu

Poetically Yours Ep. 67 - In Memory of Dad

sherry.jpg
Provided by Sherry Falsetti.
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Sherry Falsetti

Sherry Falsetti is working on her first poetry book.

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week's poem is by Sherry Falsetti.
Falsetti is a clinical psychologist. She’s practiced this for over 30 years. She is also the founder of Enlighten Mind Body Wellness, LLC.

Prior to opening her private practice in 2020, she served at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford for 17 years. She was a tenured professor and Assistant Dean of Research, directing the Office of Research. She also served as Director of the Division of Health Policy and Social Science Research in the department of Family and Community Medicine.

Falsetti fell in love with poetry during her high school creative writing class.

Today she shares verses that she wrote about her father. This poem is called “Love.”

sherry father.jpg
Provided by Sherry Falsetti.
Sherry Falsetti's father, Robert Falsetti.

My heart shattered,

In a million pieces,

Each reflecting back to me,

The pain of

A life well lived.

This piece holds,

The day my father died.

I felt numb,

Too many plans,

To make for the funeral.

You died on my daughter’s first birthday,

When all I had was a picture of her that I got to show you,

For Father’s Day,

And the next day you were gone.

A month later,

My daughter and I officially became a family,

Half a world away in China,

On your birthday.

The circle of life we all said,

But I never had the time to grieve your passing.

Time was compressed and then filled with the work of being a

New mother.

Twenty years after you died and now,

I look at a picture of you as a young man,

So handsome,

So full of hopes and dreams,

Before depression consumed you,

And left you a shell of the man,

You had hoped to be.

I never really knew you,

Even though we shared the same house,

For twenty years,

Before I moved away.

And twenty years after that,

I met your son,

That I didn’t know you had.

A life before,

I existed.

I heard about your life,

Before the wars,

That claimed so much of you.

I remember the first time,

You were hospitalized,

I was in kindergarten,

You were gone for a month.

We went to visit you once,

It was too soon after the

Shock treatment,

You didn’t know who we were,

We didn’t know who you were either,

Eyes blank, shuffling,

I cried in terror and asked to go home.

As a child,

I was lost,

In the sea of fighting, resentments and disappointments,

That were volleyed back and forth.

I was always ducking to avoid the friendly fire and,

Your depression that created walls too high

For me to climb.

I pray you are at peace now,

And you can be the man,

That I look at in the photo each day,

Who was young and hopeful,

And free from all the pain of this world.

And finally, my tears can flow.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.