Friday, June 17, 2011

Poetry Friday: Love's Austere and Lonely Offices

I don't know if it is true that Father's Day is the biggest day of the year for collect calls, but it wouldn't surprise me. While moms get all the flowers and gifts, dads are sometimes less appreciated. Today's poem is for dads. It's the last line that stuck with me, and that's what I used to search for the poem. At this link you can hear the poet reading it.

Those Winter Sundays
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?

To all the dads in the midst of "love's austere and lonely offices," Happy Father's Day. I hope someone takes a moment to thank you for all you do. And if not, here's a thank you from me.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Janet said...

Wow. This is powerful...

Sarah SSM said...

Thank you for sharing this. Janet is right.