With any luck, I hope to have my computer issues resolved within a few days.  Also, presales of my chapbook are supposed to begin at the end of this week, so stay tuned for the big announcement!


The NPR program “On Point” featured “The Making of Sonnets” in its second hour today.  Read during the show was this poem by Robert Hayden, which seems appropriate for this day-after Father’s Day; it’s a touch too wrenching for the day itself. But maybe that’s just my perspective:  My father died in 1993, and this poem so strongly reminds me of him.

And now I celebrate this day with a family of my own, and a husband who also gets up early: to put out the trash, to shovel the driveway in winter, and any numberless other dreary chores.  And I thank him. I hope, I try to,  most every day.

Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack 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?

5 responses to “Fathers.”

  1. “What did I know, what did I know
    of love’s austere and lonely offices?”

    Loved that. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Marie… for your comment, and for a timely reconnection with one of my favorite poems of all.

  3. Roland-o! Where’ve you been hiding?? Glad you loved it.

    And Kevin, you too! Doesn’t it get you right there? — thanks for checking in.

  4. Marie — This is one of my 10 Top Favorite poems… you know, if one were to have 10 poems to keep with them on a desert isle? It’s def. a keeper. Your dad sounds like he was a good good hardworking man…

  5. Thanks, Lea — yes, he was. xo

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