Friday, May 14, 2010

paternal feelings

The older I get, the more I think about my father. It's odd to me because when my mother died, just after my 25th birthday, I had wished she had lived instead of him.

And now, in the year of my life she was in when she died--63--I can barely remember her face and certainly not her voice. But I remember almost everything about my father.

Because the place in Vermont where we spent a week was so much like West Virginia--Bern said it was like being in WV in a 'nice house'--I thought a lot about my father.

His name was Virgil Hoyt. He lived to see my children, unlike my mother, who missed all that. And my third granddaughter's name is Tegan HOYT Bradley. What a hoot.

One of the poems I wrote in Vermont was about him. Here it is:


I wish I could remember
the things my father knew.
(How could I? And I wish it devoutly.)

He could go walking in the woods
and meadows and come home with wild greens
that my mother would wilt
with rendered pork fat
and we would eat gladly.

Here for a week in Vermont,
there are dandelions everywhere.
Those were the major greens
my father harvested from Nature.
The others I forget--
though I knew them once--
and wish I could remember.

I do know a lot about birds
that he taught me.
My wife is amazed at how many I know
by song and sight.
I pointed out a pair of cowbirds
last week.
She was astonished.

The Legacy of my father
is the songs of birds,
the knowing of trees,
and the incomplete list
of wild things you can
pour pork fat over and eat.


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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.