Wednesday, May 13, 2020

At Last I See New Englandly

Is it late or early and most importantly who will say? At 3 a.m. Dad and I face one another in ways we could not manage while he lived. Before dawn - which is to say in shadows bunching under wind-blown corn tassels in 1972 - a chickadee sings, its clear notes briefly my cupped hands. Who helps and who means to help but only hurts? I circle the barn unsteadily, studying the snow for skunk tracks, worried did it make it out to scavenge. The gift includes awareness of the other's suffering, a puzzle I leave for you to solve. My father had a lucky encounter with the Lord as a child and now look. Words do take the edge off the constant need to face one's inability to save anything, especially what one loves, yet the failures go on anyway. At last I see New Englandly. Snow falls from high in the hemlocks, sighing as it sifts downward through bent green boughs, barely noticeable reaching the ground. We are made to go home to the Lord, a fact I remember best in our shared bed. I have done things I may yet be asked to answer for and insist on freedom for all of us anyway. Here is the infinite prayer of blue skies after a storm, and here is the sentence in which we say "no more sentences," including the one which includes the lamentations of those who have yet to forgive their fathers.

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