April 2, 1999

Children Play

I have seen Icelandic children
in the dawnish-duskish light of deep winter
playing outside
with clods of dirt and balls of snow.
Dressed in their big jackets
and beautiful woolen mittens
they were playing tag or ball or
some game of their own making.
In Mexico, Egypt, India, Canada
I have seen the same.
Everywhere children will find a way to play.

I visited a new neighborhood.
It was all very nice.
No blemish in sight.
Just constructed. Fresh, clean, neat.
Straight. No weeds, no junk in back alleys.
I wonder about the teenagers who live there.
Where do they hide away?
They need that special place
to meet each other.
A place of their own.
A Lover's Lane.
They will find it. Or make it.
We all will find a way to love.

And now I am sitting with my father.
Two months ago there was a maelstrom
of grudge, anger, hurt, loss, rage, history.
Always outward looking.
Today is different somehow.
He is secluding, withdrawing.
On the rare occasions he speaks
it is 2 words at a time.
Do I see a calm?
There IS a quieting.
I cannot probe.
We can not chat.
I must simply sit
and try to be with him
in that place.
We all will find a way to die.