Sunday, October 23, 2011

Don’s Morning

At a recent workshop, David St. John pointed out that sometimes the things most important to a person are the hardest things to write about. I've been working at this lately. A couple of poems here, "Circling Venice" and "You and I Walking" are part of this effort. So is this poem about my father, Don Kearns.

Don’s Morning

He was a rail thin wide-eared GI soldier,
one foot on a bench,
the Taj Mahal in the background.

He was a slow moving tall professor
walking across a campus quad
thin gray suit
a trail of smoke.

His wedding picture     lean sharp face
a touch of amazement and wonder
still there after the Burma Road.

How to take measure
thinning gray hair
this much commitment
a sixty year marriage

Yankee Unitarian
now a Saint Augustine Catholic,
spoonful of blind faith,
or a pinch of duplicity .

Out of my memory
his morning appears
the dark in his study
mug of coffee     cigarette

seven children   each
with a full cup of joy
random spoons of sadness
bits of anger and tragedy.

At the blackboard teaching
threadbare suit
dust at the pockets
years of gray chalk.

This morning
his study comes back
glow of his smoke.
He is weighing the joy,

counting the sadness,
gently rubbing the scars of each wound,
or maybe just hearing the birds.

Copyright © Francis Kearns 2011