[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball


a poem for my daughter

renee' and ells return today from a visit to the coast, and they couldn't get home soon enough for me. i heard a radio show several weeks ago about poems fathers had written for their daughters, and i finally got around to tracking some down on the www today. here's one of my favorites:
tonight i walked,
close to the house,
and was afraid,
not of the winding course
that i have made of love and self
but of the dark and faraway.
i walked, hearing the wind
and feeling the cold,
but what i dwelled on
were the stars blazing
in the immense arc of sky.

jessica, it is so much easier
to think of our lives,
as we move under the brief luster of leaves,
loving what we have,
than to think of how it is
such small beings as we
travel in the dark
with no visible way
or end in sight.

yet there were times i remember
under the same sky
when the body’s bones became light
and the wound of the skull
opened to receive
the cold rays of the cosmos,
and were, for an instant,
themselves the cosmos,
there were times when i could believe
we were the children of stars
and our words were made of the same
dust that flames in space,
times when i could feel in the lightness of breath
the weight of a whole day
come to rest.

but tonight
it is different.
afraid of the dark
in which we drift or vanish altogether,
i imagine a light
that would not let us stray too far apart,
a secret moon or mirror,
a sheet of paper,
something you could carry
in the dark
when I am away.
for jessica, my daughter by mark strand.

if you're interested, others include: yeats' a prayer for my daughter; heart's needle, by w. d. snodgrass; and first lesson by phillip booth, which i believe is included in a compendium of poems aired on "all things considered" and which google says we can read @ this blog or from this service @ a uu church (no kidding) in ct. i'd like to read more of these poems, so please email me if you know ones i've missed.


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