Sunday, May 16, 2010

Breaking for Poetry

As you may recall, I've set a goal this year of writing at least one poem per month. So far they've all had birds in them, but this one is bird-free. Oh well. This one is called, Dad.

You want to call him up,
suggesting perhaps an easy walk
around the neighborhood, so peaceful and fine
is the day, so purely perfect
the blue of the sky, and the lilacs
all in bloom and gifting the air
with their ancient scent,

until you remember that he's gone now, gone
these five, ten, however many years--
these many years--
and anyway he never walked with you,
you never walked with him--

but off you go, the two of you,
just walking and talking,
and on the neighbor's porch
a transistor radio is playing
some song from 1966--

four boys from Liverpool
singing their fool hearts out--

and somewhere a wooden screen door slams,
and there is the putter of a small plane
flying low, slow, a friendly sound--

and you almost forget
that there never was such a day as this,
never such a walk,
and the word, the one word
you so ernestly wanted to say,
but never said--

it's playing on that old transistor radio,
on this day that never was,

and, yes, you're walking with your old man--
you're walking with your old man!--
and it's 1966 but you're all grown up, you see,
all grown up the way he never knew you--
you're a man, he's a man--

and so finally you can say it,
for the first time but all over again,
for the thousandth time,
for the first time,
you say,

all you need is love, love,
love is all you need
love is all you need
love is all you need.


Bob said...

As you can see, poetry for me is just a run-on sentence, fragmented by line-breaks.

Anonymous said...

this one made me fly like a bird.

Laura said...

oh, so sweetly sad. a reminder to say those things now for those of us who still have time. thank you for sharing this.