spring ritual….

oh how spring
brings forth from poets
a multitude of verses
a never-ending array
of love lost
and then regained
friendship betrayed
and then forgiven
like an army of prodigal sons
birth and rebirth
more flowers than in a monet painting
colorful rituals of every sort
say but one
removal of the christmas training wheels
although not practiced everywhere
it is one which these poets have forgotten
and like all rituals it has its steps
first to ride upon the softest grass
assuring no injury to the child
leaving only injured ants in its wake
no unexploded ordinances here
unlike the fields in vietnam
next moving to the cruel street
father racing beside his child
legs pumping and out of breath
protecting his child from his past pain
like a parent in beirut, afghanistan, iran
or east la
where learning to ride is not an option
finally at the child’s insistence
the father is banned to the bay window
watching his child challenge the world alone
with coffee cup in hand
still running beside his child
and with his first fall
the first scars upon his heart
as the child continues to confront the world
the father cannot end his virtual race
and with each fall
another scar

Poem inspired by comments from Mirella McCraken http://mirellamccracken.wordpress.com/

18 thoughts on “spring ritual….

  1. Truly beautiful! It reminded me of a German short story I read many years ago. A father anxiously awaits the birth of his first son. Sort of like standing by the window with a coffee cup in his hand, dreaming about the future. The child is eventually born and the father starts out on his education. He dreams of turning his son into something radically different from the rest of the other people – honest, complex, plainly speaking good. As the first years pass by, he notices how his child starts interacting with and being “deformed” by others. To cut a long story short: he ends up killing his child, to prevent him from being contaminated by the world’s madness.

  2. Sorry for the multiple posting, but I just remembered something else in the vein of the above mentioned. “For every man kills the thing he loves”. It’s an Oscar Wilde line from The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

  3. I love the image of a child on a bike, learning to ride without training wheels,
    lots of great lines, and the way that the social/political/historical commentary or reference is slipped in is well-crafted. I enjoyed reading this poem.

  4. i thought it really brought to light the reality of raising teenagers.. or maybe i read into that cause i am raising teenagers? It is hard as the parent to watch them fall down, while knowing that they must once and awhile for them to grow. i loved the injured ants line.. great visual!

  5. You did it again. I don’t know how you can be so productive in reminding us of our past, in telling us the way it really is, and in giving us guidance for how we should view life in the future.

  6. The training wheels of winter have long been in need of removal. Beautifully painted expression of the season. Throwing the father-son related story in was an added bonus.

  7. This poem takes such a powerful, poignant turn without warning… right when I’m daydreaming about spring, that’s when it hits, “unlike the fields in vietnam
    next moving to the cruel street
    father racing beside his child
    legs pumping and out of breath
    protecting his child from his past pain
    like a parent in beirut, afghanistan, iran
    or east la
    where learning to ride is not an option”

    Damn good!

  8. It’s such a lovely poem, so powerful but playful and simple at the same time. Reminds me of my dad running by my bike, hes still as protective now! =]

    • It is something that hard wired into fathers…seldom discussed or admitted to…since that would make him look like your mother…but believe me…it is as storng and in some ways stronger.

  9. Great Poem, and wow, what memories it does unearth from somewhere, I must have buried in my mind.

    Yeah, Mirella does have that sort of “wake up and do what you do, in waking up the masses” way about her bubbly little self huh?
    I thank God for her, and thank God for you. Keep up the great work.

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