The Labyrinthine

November 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — thelabyrinthine @ 5:09 pm
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? 


So I first laid eyes on this poem during my second year in college.  I remember reading it in class
and having to hide my face because I had started cry by the end.  I don't think any poem had ever made me cry before.
I cried because if I were to ever write a poem to/for my dad, this would be the sentiment I'd wish to express.
I kept thinking about how my dad would always get up at the crack of dawn and turn the heater on in the car
before I got in so I wouldn't have to sit in the cold.  He'd sit it out for me.  I never thanked him for it,
he never expected one.
But anyhow, I left that poem behind and somehow let it slip from my mind.  I even forgot the name, so I couldn't
go back to it.
The other day my professor brought it up as a reference to something, I didn't even see the poem but I knew by
what he was saying of which poem he was talking about.
I hoped he wouldn't show it to us, we sit in a circle, it'd be hard to hide my tears this time.
So just now, I did look it up.  And god dammit, I'm crying in the middle of the barnes and noble/starbucks cafe
like I've lost a dear friend or something.  Sigh.  Someone had called this poem 'nearly perfect.'  I'd take the
nearly out of it.

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