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Not in the warm earth

Carole Glasser Langille
From:   Late In A Slow Time. Mansfield Press, 2003.


This is where we come
to find our parents.
In the fine cloth. In the neat hand. Did you
make this for me, mother? Are you
proud, father? Though I didn't
hit the ball, though I didn't
go to meetings.

I lived mostly in my dreams. Remember,
I would go into the yard, my bike
a horse. I'd race. I'd vault
fences. By the time I got home,
I'd crossed the border,
was in my late thirties, children
holding both my hands.
New lock on an old door.

This is where we find our parents,
white water rafting down rapids
in the same boat we're in.
But it tips, it turns over.
I can't save them.

In the middle of the night
they wake me. They tell me I've made mistake
after mistake. They're worried.
I get up. Heat milk. Tell them
I visit often. Am still touched
by incandescent moments
of their great caring, their heroic endeavours.
I know how hard it was to live
in that house. In that life.

"But, mother, it's late. Father, you're dead, it's time
you were asleep.    When you do visit
you don't have to rattle the doors.
Knock gently, I'll be listening. Tell me
why you have come. What can I give you?"


Carole Glasser Langille's works copyright © to the author.


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