Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Into the vortex

My parents are visiting us for an "early Thanksgiving" this week, and I have slipped into the proverbial rabbithole.   With my dad's presence, I seem to be teetering somewhere between adolescence and adulthood.    That's a topic that begs for more explanation at some point.  Suffice it to say that for now, I am reminding myself of the sacrifices that all parents make, the ways we often don't really know the inner movements of the thoughts of our family members.  To that, a poem:  Those Winter Sundays, by Robert Hayden.  I am a swooner for last lines, and the ending lines of this poem are lately mantras for me this week.  

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden, 1962

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La Belette Rouge said...

I think that most of us go between regressing into adolescence and trying to compensate by being their most adult selves. Parental visits destabilize the most centered of souls.

Hope you have a lovely visit and are able to be the self that you want to be.

Irene Latham said...

Love this poem SO MUCH. It has long been a favorite.

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