Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Weight

We live backwards and forwards.

When the child was three,
I felt the weight of her against my chest,
Her legs dangling, her feet hitting my thighs
As I carried her sleeping form
From the car,
And I thought, Remember this.
Today, she's twenty.
She can lift me.
Sometimes, she sits her lanky self
On my lap,
And I feel the weight of her,
I wrap my spotty arms
Around her skinny waist
And I think, Remember this.

I'm reading Without,
Donald Hall's elegy of
Grief and remembrance and beauty
To his poet-wife Jane Kenyon,
Who died too young.

My beloved is on the phone,
Pacing from microwave to bookshelf
With his coffee cup.
"Yup," he says. "Uh, huh."
I hear his voice all day,
Every day,
Our desks just five feet apart.
Sometimes I, who lived so long in quiet,
Want quiet.
And I think, Remember this.
Let me write a pseudo poem
To hold on to the sound
Of his voice in the room.
There's time enough for quiet.

Thank you to @Kcecelia and @BumbleWard, who led me to Donald Hall this morning.


Miss Whistle said...

This is absolutely beautiful. So happy you wrote it. b x

Susan Champlin said...

Thank you, B. I woke to Donald Hall on your blog in my inbox this morning, which started this train rolling. Thank you for the inspiration! xo

Florrie Burke said...

Susan-oh thee of many gifts. I love this poem and sitting here in the quiet of my DC hotel room, I long for the voice of my beloved. So much for us to remember.

Michele Hush said...

What they said - I love this, too. It is beautiful. It is also vivid. I feel like I can see you with your daughter.

Susan Champlin said...

Thank you both, Florrie and Michele. Donald Hall said, "A year hence, would he question/why he was not contented/now? Therefore he was contented."

Tina said...

How lovely, my lovely auntie.

Love you!

Teen Teen

Lesley said...

Must read Donald Hall blog! Thank you for sharing your not-so-pseudo poem with us today.

Dan McCarthy said...

Lovely and true.

One suggestion: replace the word "pseudo" with "cautious." It's a real poem.

Sarah Nelson said...

So lyrical. Live in the moment. That's a wonderful call to life.