Thursday, April 19, 2012


My daughter's wedding is slated for June 16--a mere eight weeks from now.  And during this National Poetry Month I happened upon this poem that I wrote a couple of years ago--a villanelle, nonetheless--that is at once soulful and hopeful, I think.  If you are not familiar with what a villanelle is (rhyme scheme, repeating lines and meter) think of Dylan Thomas and "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night".  And if you are not familiar with this famous and classic poem, think Rodney Dangerfield reciting it in Back to School. And if you still don't know what a villanelle is, then heaven help you and don't bother reading mine.  You obviously weren't an English major and you don't see the humor in a name like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Anyway . . . here's one I found in the dust bin.  Not sure anyone will ever publish this one, so I'll stuff it into this blog.  No one--wife, daughter, son or illegitimate relative--has ever read this one to my knowledge.  I don't think it's half bad for a villanelle.  And villanelles are tough muthers to write.


A father begins his slow descent
The day his oldest daughter turns
Twenty-one.  He wonders where she went.

And with each birthday subsequent,
As independence spikes and burns
A father begins his slow descent.

The best of youthful years were spent
In books and hopscotch taking turns.
At twenty-one, he wonders where she went.

A father mourns his age like Lent
And in repentance, as he yearns,
A father begins his slow descent.

He ponders if his life was meant
To teach the lessons that she learns
At twenty-one.  He wonders where she went.

And in some future testament
Perhaps a daughter's love returns:
A father begins his slow descent
Past twenty-one.  And wonders where she went.

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