Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore,
And that's what parents were created for.
When my father
Said mein Fehler
I thought it meant
"I'm a failure"
which was my error
which is what
mein Fehler means
in German which
is what my parents
spoke at home
I was in love with anatomy
the symmetry of my body
poised for flight,
the heights it would take
over parents, lovers, a keen
riding over truth and detail.
I thought growing up would be
this rising from everything
old and earthly,
not these faltering steps out the door
every day, then back again.
The little park planted in memory of a boy
who fell in the war begins
to resemble him
as he was twenty eight years ago.
Year by year they look more alike.
His old parents come almost daily
to sit on a bench
and look at him.
And every night the memory in the garden
hums like a little motor.
During the day you can't hear it.
There was a man who found two leaves and came
indoors holding them out saying to his parents
that he was a tree.
To which they said then go into the yard and do
not grow in the living room as your roots may
ruin the carpet.
He said I was fooling I am not a tree and he
dropped his leaves.
But his parents said look it is fall.
THE Lady Mary Villiers lies
Under this stone; with weeping eyes
The parents that first gave her birth,
And their sad friends, laid her in earth.
If any of them, Reader, were
Known unto thee, shed a tear;
Or if thyself possess a gem
As dear to thee, as this to them,
Though a stranger to this place,
Bewail in theirs thine own hard case:
For thou perhaps at thy return
May'st find thy Darling in an urn.
HOW cruel are the parents
Who riches only prize,
And to the wealthy booby
Poor Woman sacrifice!
Meanwhile, the hapless Daughter
Has but a choice of strife;
To shun a tyrant Father’s hate—
Become a wretched Wife.
The ravening hawk pursuing,
The trembling dove thus flies,
To shun impelling ruin,
Awhile her pinions tries;
Till, of escape despairing,
No shelter or retreat,
She trusts the ruthless Falconer,
And drops beneath his feet.
R S Thomas
I forgive you my life,
Begotten in a drab town,
The intention was good;
Passing the street now,
I see still the remains of sunlight.
It was not the bone buckled;
You gave me enough food
To renew myself.
It was the mind's weight
Kept me bent, as I grew tall.
It was not your fault.
What should have gone on,
Arrow aimed from a tried bow
At a tried target, has turned back,
With questions you had not asked.
As I drive my parents home through the snow
their frailty hesitates on the edge of a mountainside.
I call over the cliff
only snow answers.
They talk quietly
of hauling water of eating an orange
of a grandchild's photograph left behind last night.
When they open the door of their house they disappear.
And the oak when it falls in the forest who hears it through miles and miles of silence?
They sit so close to each other¡as if pressed together by the snow.