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Thursday, December 31, 2009
The anguish of this: wrapped up respect, humility spilling forth, ex post fact . . .
Those Winter Sundays
BY ROBERT E. HAYDEN
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
[Robert Hayden was the first black poet chosen as consultant to Library of Congress in 1976.]
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SPACE, TIME, AND BEYOND
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