What Her Missionary Son’s Letter Didn’t Say


This poem tied for first place in the 2021 Clinton F. Larson Poetry Contest, sponsored by BYU Studies.

Rain hangs in the air.
Even my underwear feels wet.

I listen to the tapping fingertips
of the bodies of bugs hitting netting
at night. Gray water. Bare floors.

My companion is

The people
are more real
than anyone I’ve ever met—
than you, maybe,
in that long-ago world.

My companion won’t sing.
This is the rainy season.


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