Sunday, January 08, 2006

Orchard in Stow, 4 October 03

For my Son

Your boy cheeks, elongating to a young man's face,
bones rising from roundness, mimicking the curves
of the ocean of apples, people bobbing among them
returning wet-footed with halfpecks of fruit.

''Tricking the ladder" read the poet Cervone
and my floodgates creaked open to enter the day
when with hurt hearts benumbed we picked apples in rain
and so marked the passing of Walter, your dad.

We noted with pleasure the farmyard display,
the cinnamon doughnuts, the sticks full of honey
when the day just before we had driven north fast
to outpace the moment that had already passed.
From the highway we phoned and embraced our dismay.

You had sat by his bedside, quietly weaving
small rings into chain maille of galvanized steel.
Few words passed---the odd joke, the sly story,
..............move this pillow---
till fatigue overtook him and nurses claimed his time
their efficient poetics of coming and leaving


–Deborah Maier
Draft © D. Maier 2006 All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Deborah,

I find this poem to be very moving. I am pained by the grief, but I feel life asserting itself, and the sense that some day pleasure will be possible again.