Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy. We Miss You.

                                         January 7, 1915- June 18, 2005


Those Winter Sundays
                        --Robert Hayden                                                

Sundays too my father got up early 
and put on his clothes 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 up 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?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG -- I'm shattered.
peri

Eileen Simmons said...

I don't know how many times I've read and taught that poem over the years. Like you, it always reminds me of Daddy. Thanks for sharing.
Love,
Eileen

Bossy Betty said...

Thank you for leaving that comment! I can't make it through that poem in my class. I have the students take over!