Lyrical Somerville – April 24

On April 24, 2013, in Latest News, by The News Staff

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Poet William Harney writes: ”The poem about my father conflates things by describing me as a boy playing with him, as a young adult  when he died, and my missing him now, long after.  He was a big, gentle man who seemed always to enfold any of his eight children standing or sitting with them, a    reassuring physical presence.  In the process of writing a poem, of making choices, one of  the rewards often is that your reasons for holding on to particular scenes and sensations becomes  clearer, the emotional charge things have comes out.  That happened for me here.”

 

William Harney.

William Harney.

My Father

When my brother and I were boys

 

My father stretched out on my parents’ bed was

 

A series of low foothills of flesh calling us to climb

 

And question the origin of every mark and mole.

 

Our inquiries brought from him straight-faced stories

 

Of bar fights and espionage that

 

Led to laughter and soft pushes in protest.

 

 

I still miss or why go back to it

 

The reassuring bulk of him, the surround his arms and

 

Back made, a refuge where humor and sweetness

 

Insulated us from our school-age fears.

 

When he died, it was as though all the rooms in our house

 

Were emptied of their furniture and we were left to stand about.

 
– William Harney

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