Thursday, October 6, 2011

in my father's arms by carl leggo

all my life I have wanted my father to hold me in his arms and tell me, I love you

I went to a counsellor, empty but still full of fear, and she walked
me through the tangled garden of five decades of living in the earth
to a quiet meadow where my father and I stood all alone with
the dandelions, both dazed and lost. I was once more a small boy.
Faraway I heard a soft voice, what do you want? I began to weep.

all my life I have wanted my father to hold me in his arms and tell me, I love you

We are each shaped by the first years of our lives; we learn how
to live with one another from the stories we have been invited to live
with others. Fathers and sons live in an alien world born in contest,
often confused, where we seldom know how to name our desires.
My father says, I'm a depression baby but I'm not depressed.

all my life I have wanted my father to hold me in his arms and tell me, I love you

In middle age I know my desires with an ache that pushes against
the walls of my heart, and I know I will never lie in my father's arms,
but I will still know my father in love, thankful for all the stories, written,
to be written, all fragments, only, subtending the whole and holy
story that always exceeds the geometry of the heart's tangled lines.

2 comments:

Wenda said...

Hey, Edward! So delightfully odd to open this poem today. Carl is a good friend of mine and was a prof when I attended UBC. How did you come upon this poem?

techne said...

i don't remember (though now that my library is almost all unpacked i could probably figure it out). this poem was a leftover from last year's national poetry month.

the sense of loss and longing is palpable.