The Hermit Poet

June 16, 2008

Late, But Not Forgotten

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A poem for my late father, written several years ago after being inspired by a short image-rich email he sent me. Something about its brevity and omission spoke volumes about how much he missed having me at home. This Father’s Day was less about grieving and more about remembering, and perhaps even remembering to remember in new ways.

This past weekend I spent surrounded by tokens and symbols of heritage and culture, celebrated the diversity of the multi-racial experience, made many wonderful new friends and acquaintances, and in general felt very much a part of a community. Part of my ability to do so, to open up and accept, is the legacy of a father who cared enough about all our cultures and family histories to weave them into our lives in meaningful ways. He didn’t just observe, he embraced and he encouraged others to embrace what we hold in common and what sets us apart.

Thanks Dad.

Letter From Home

My father’s words
laid down
like old shoes
at a back door.

Worn out, grey,
or that distant pale
that night paints the world
just before dawn.

Not knowing
how far this road goes on
moving in slow circles
or sinking into crisp unfathomed snow.

My father sleeping
in long sighs, unaware
of the way a line disappears
at the edge of meaning.

How few words he takes
to recreate a world
in the mind of a son
longing for home.

The last remnants of trees
pulled from the earth
stay hidden for years
till the wind blows them free.

First published in Spillway

One Response to “Late, But Not Forgotten”

  1. Christine Aitken Says:

    I love your poem about remembering Dad. I think we all miss him.


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