The Grim Truth

“Last Kiss” Haiku


Passionate moments

Smiling and leaning forward

Grim truth recognized



A hearts affection

Fragile moments embraced

Cradling loves remnants



Intrinsic affairs

Approach the drifting tides

Lost without desire

The Last Kiss” is a short story written by Ralph Fletcher. The conflict in the story is external, and the main protagonist, Ralph Fletcher, is against his parents, the antagonist. Ralph begins his life given kisses before bed, provided every night: “This arrangement worked very well indeed and lasted through kindergarten, first grade,  and into second grade. It was such an intrinsic part of my childhood, like making my bed or saying my prayers, that I never bothered to question it.” However, as the story progresses, Ralph begins to lose connections with his father and mother. Kisses are no longer given by his father, and Ralph is shattered. In paragraph fourteen, he states: “It took several more nights, several more awkward tries, before the grim truth finally sunk in. I was too old to be kissed by my father. True, I could go to my mother and get a huge bearhug along with a kiss. But now that the smoothness of her cheek was not counterbalanced by my father’s fine sandpaper, ever her kisses felt different, not nearly so powerful, much more fragile. I would never again embrace her without some part of me wondering if I might not one day lose her kisses as well.” The moments that he thought would constantly happen, no longer do. The theme states that you should appreciate the moment, and value each second of it before it all goes away. In paragraph fourteen, he says that he wonders if someday he will lose his mother’s kisses as well, which shows that he has finally learned to appreciate each moment.  I have written three haikus about his conflict and the story’s theme. The first poem describes the moments he was in and then realizing that someday they won’t come to pass. The second poem describes his heart embracing those moments, ones that he didn’t realize were fragile until he was cradling those memories of the times he was kissed. The third poem describes a time when those affairs would occur perpetually. Although he didn’t know that his mother’s and father’s love was drifting away, a falling tide, leaving him lost and confused. In paragraph thirteen, he states: “I stood there a moment, while the fireflies pulsed in silence. I was eight years old. The thought my mind held was too large to formulate into a question, too vague to clearly recognize as a loss.” The artwork behind my poems is a wave, which represents the parents love coming in waves, and fading away like it never existed. The blue of the waves also represents his sadness, because I wanted to choose some colder colours, rather than the warmer coloured ones of waves during sunset.




1 Comment

  1. Remove the “uncategorized” category from your poem please!

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