A Poem for Sunday
February 13, 2011
Those Winter Sundays - 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?
Sometimes in a poem, a single line stands out and slays you. In this one, every single line from the start builds up the poignancy and power of the final two.
Oof. Just oof.