Wednesday, July 2, 2008


When I saw you father
lying in your coffin
like tall grass
the wind has forsaken
I began to understand
stars and distance

I knew your hands
noble with leather
would never drop again
upon my shoulders
and I understood
that my memories
would drip like stalactites
the echoes
continual reminders

I knew your eyes
made from playing
and labour
would never wet
with shared pride
and I understood
how they suddenly rise
make their sounds
and ask for no reasons
(But we give them reasons

I knew your voice
rough from war
and depression
soft with compassion
from love and children
would never sound
and I understood
----------- ---- ----------silence
that ears can be useless
that deafness
can be a blessing

Each time I looked
into the night sky
my eyes adopted the orphans
of tiny light
and my thoughts cradled
their solitude
I had done this father
but I have learned
today that distance
did not dull
their brightness
that I need no reasons

I shall leave them
--- published in Walking On the Greenhouse Roof
--- Delta Publishing, Montreal, 1969

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