When I went to my inbox, all I found was this one, but it was sad enough and enough on another topic I think about often (well, a few topics) that it would work as an adequate sub: the sentimentality of a place. Places, more than people, arouse in me a sense of sadness and remembrance of the past. How strange it is to live in a place where others once lived, and then to move on and have the home contain other people. I could wax very boring on this subject but luckily for all involved I only have a few minutes to dash this off before I plop the kids in the tub, who will only get out when they hear their daddy come home to "ressle!"
May I also mention that this poem explains most things about the Smith sisters. Our dad raised us on this poetry. And the poem my sister describes that she will write is a synopsis of the poems that were our regular bedtime reading from the time I was Andrew's age. And maybe I am glad that I am not kidding, though Brigham may sometimes wonder what I may have been like without the World War I poetry acting as the literary backdrop to my childhood.
Two Hours From Now
Two hours from now there will be dawn
in the place of my childhood, light in the room,
but another will turn slowly with sleep-ridden eyes, not knowing
the continuity of flesh or what lingers
in the wisps of the night as the high plains sunlight
touches the window, or the little walk where my father
used to sit with the papers on Sunday.
Only I in this eastern city remember a brief while
and then go my ways, knowing no one can put two things together.
The old house, I suppose, insentient, calm, does not remember, nor its inhabitants,
or the quarter lost under the front porch,
or the room in which I wept from a quarrel
or the stove in the kitchen by which I studied.
Mother is gone.
Father sleeps on a hilltop in another town.
We are all lonely.
Why do I write to myself as dawn is breaking two thousand miles away?
Nothing will be solved. The house does not remember,
nor the dead, nor will the window curtain waiver.
I have followed the dawn to no purpose, there are only the paws
of a lost puppy imprinted in the cement of the sidewalk.
I, the living ghost, stare at them across a lifetime and do not speak.
There is also a toy boat still hidden in the attic.
Ok, so this next bit is to help any of you who read the poem (you really should though) wipe away the tears. This was my sister Jessica's emailed response:
That was a really sad poem. Where did you find it and who wrote it? Thanks for sending it.
It has inspired me to write a follow-up poem -- it is called, "Two Hours from Now I Hope I'm Dead". It's about a rabbit who just had his leg amputated and he hobbled through a garden gate and stepped in a snare (with his remaining limb) and is screaming in pain knowing that no one will ever find him, and as he watched the eyes of the other rabbits passing him over and resting on the bunnies who are whole, he thinks to himself, "Why don't they come put me to bed, why don't they come?", and then someone drops poison gas on them all and the whole bunny colony is wiped out.
It's a touching poem -- maybe Emma, Luke, Samuel and Andrew would enjoy it as a bed time story.
I think they would, Jess. For a good time, read the following: