Monday, May 04, 2009

Remembering Daddy's Birthday


Papa

I remember when you walked
in autumn
across the mountains,
alongside the streams that seep
out of the rocks where one hill cleaves
to another,
your silver hair tangled in the clouds you
were bigger than mountains.

Even then, muffled by our shuffles through
the painted autumn ruffles on the ground
the sound of your blood was
a hammer
welding wings
on the anvil of your soul
I do not mean that you were old
or you were dying then
but that your sprit knew of
flying then
long before your feet ever
left the ground.

I hope I paid enough respect
to the trains in the basement.
I think I was properly awed by the careful details of
your creation
but perhaps I should have
paid more attention
to the ways you made
electricity
because your spark is still keeping the lamps lit
in our hearts.

Once you drove me to the farm in your truck,
and even though it was just the two of us
you let me sit in those funny little-girl-sized seats in the back
but eventually I had to crawl forward to investigate
the emergency candy in the glove compartment.
I ate it
with grave seriousness.
Then we sang along to radio songs
(though neither of us knew the words so we both made up
baselines:
bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum...)

I'll miss you throned under the gilded tree
with your queen
surrounded by mountains
of gifts like
Father Christmas
But now like
Father Christmas
omniscient you're ever-present and benevolent
And I believe in you.

Thank you for your presents.

Kate Croft



My daughter, Kate, recreated it all in this poem that she wrote when her Grandfather died. (It is fitting that her picture is prominent in the blog below.) Her heart was mine and our hearts were his. She remembered Dad much like I did. It was worth revisiting on the occasion of his birthday. mc

4 comments:

juju said...

What a poet, but I should know first hand since eight years ago, today, Kate beautifully wrote and read two poems at our wedding. I don't know which was better, the poems or the way she read them. What talent and what a blessed day. Dad was with us and I can see him now still trying to put his magic touch on his children's world. Great blog, Merry. I see where Kate gets her talent.

Queenie said...

Kate read this so beautifully at
the last celebration of Pop's life.
Six grandchildren plus Louis and
Hugh eulogized him in a wonderful
way. Oh how I love you.....all.
Nana

family said...

Don't know where all that deep thinking came from! But is sure is purty....I love the picture of Kate and Pop walking in the woods. I hope Pop knew how much he was loved......kim

family said...

Kim...I'm sure Dad knew he was loved. It was obvious the deep love you had for him and speaking of "deep", the kind of "thinking" that helps others, including me, on a daily bases; you have been blessed with. mom