Thursday, January 3, 2008

Those Winter Mornings: Seeing the love in ordinary duties

Robert Hayden

Those Winter Sundays
by Detroit poet Robert Hayden celebrates the many things done by fathers and, indeed, mothers, even in the most troubled marriages and which we fail to count as love until, perhaps, it is too late:

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?

(This is the complete post. Ignore "Continue reading" link below.)

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