KingMidget's Ramblings

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Those Winter Sundays


A couple of years ago, I took a fiction writing class through the UC Davis Extension program.  It was taught by Greg Glazner.  Eight Wednesdays in a row about fifteen of us writers-to-be met in a room and talked writing.  Every week we had a short story to read before class, except for one week when we had a handful of poems to read.  Ugh.  Poems.

There was one memorable poem in the punch.  One that was so powerful.  I was reminded of it last night as I sat watching a play at the B Street Theatre in Sacramento.  How We Get On by Idris Goodwin, about three teenagers growing up in suburban, middle America in 1988, trying to get in on the new hip-hop/rap scene.  It’s a great play.

At one point, one of the characters is talking to his father who tells him about a great black poet, Robert Hayden.  The son asks for a sample and his father recites Those Winter Sundays.  It’s still powerful.

Those Winter Sundays

by Robert 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?
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One response to “Those Winter Sundays

  1. Pingback: Father’s Day: What did I know? | Dadicus Grinch

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