Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 85,402 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

Family Life - Poem by Daniel Brick

for Liza

All of us, every single
one of us will be an orphan.
We will remember our parents,
recall the spring morning
our father showed us the yellow
beginning of each blade of grass,
just where it arises out of dark
ground into the light. We bent closer
to see that sunsplash of yellow, hardly
believing a field of green could harbor
such a secret. That is a happy memory,
I smile when I recall it. Don't you too
smile? And then there was the Saturday
I helped my Mom bake two loaves of thick
white bread. I don't remember what I did,
probably just chattered about childish
things as she labored in the kitchen.
Still my smiling presence made her happy,
and that night at supper she told Dad,
"Your son helped me make our daily bread."

Our family life begins at that moment
when mother'scries are surpassed
as the new life suddenly slips
into the world and her pain becomes
rejoicing. This is not the last time
pain and joy will overlap. Such is our
human fate: we live within opposites,
and choose the sweeter of the two.
Father looks on in pride, and mother
laughs as their new-born cries his need
for their love.

So begins the cycle of life in love,
parents and children sharing the most basic
family bonds of growth and education,
of happy appointments over time and,
yes, disappointments, too. Time will rush
us through our mortality so much faster
than we desire. Still in our hearts' depth
we will say, "My father filled my mind
with purpose, my mother listened to me
in a room free of worry."

But a poet I love and trust has already
written, "There was never a parent
kept alive by a child's love."
How will I, no, how will WE cope
with this blunt truth? Do we make
ourselves as hard as fate, or do we
surrender to the sorrow of loss?
Oh, we must be choose the sweeter
choice: our parents rejoiced
in an abundance of love when we were born;
let us rejoice in an abundance of grief
when they die. The circle closes and ascends
to some higher space of being.

(The poet is Louise Gluck, the poem is "Adult Grief" in her early collection, THE TRIUMPH OF ACHILLES. I have followed her throughout her career, for the past five decades. Her poems are luminous, whether they deal with the dark fate or the light fate of being human. She has written the necessary poems for my life to be complete.)

Topic(s) of this poem: family


Comments about Family Life by Daniel Brick

  • Glen Kappy (5/1/2018 8:25:00 AM)

    Hey, Daniel! First thoughts to your poem: Choosing the sweeter is what joins us, you and me. And to the last stanza with its quote, I would ask what it means to be alive (in the eternal sense) . I’ve read Louise Gluck some but clearly not like you; thank you for the encouragement to read her more. Hoping this finds you still choosing the sweeter, Glen (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Nosheen Irfan (4/30/2018 2:04:00 AM)

    A lovely write that captures the beauty of family life n relations. It does the heart good to reminisce the good old days. How things change over time makes the heart ache. And a retreat to the past is just what we need. I hope writing this poem helped you deal with the pain of losing the loved ones. A lovely glimpse into your life. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Nika Mcguin (4/24/2018 12:57:00 PM)

    I'm ever grateful to God that I've yet to experience it. But I know It's something I'll eventually have to endure. And indeed hardening ourselves as a form of preparation for this would be the wrong route to take. All we can do is love them while they're here and when they're gone hold onto the lessons and memories they left behind. Anyhow, great write! ~ (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Nika Mcguin (4/24/2018 12:57:00 PM)

    This is a beautiful poem of observation Daniel. It's true, through life's ups and downs family is one of the few things that keeps us sane and grounded. It's a place we can find joy despite the sorrows of life. Losing a parent has to be one of the hardest human experiences there is. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Liza Sudina (4/22/2018 9:13:00 AM)

    Parents made a great deal of things for us. We are not even able to repay them back in full love.
    But in case of grief as topic of this poem let me qoute: God loves us more than a father, mother, friend, or any else could love, and even more than we are able to love ourselves.

    + St. John Chrysostom
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bharati Nayak (4/22/2018 9:08:00 AM)

    We will remember our parents,
    recall the spring morning
    our father showed us the yellow
    beginning of each blade of grass,
    just where it arises out of dark
    ground into the light. We bent closer
    to see that sunsplash of yellow, hardly
    believing a field of green could harbor
    such a secret. - - - - A FIELD OF GREEN COULD HARBOR SUCH A SECRET- - - Family harbor us with loving care- - teaches the secrets of happiness.
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani Mahakul (4/21/2018 10:29:00 PM)

    We recall family and we recall spring both. Cycle of life is associated with love. Family bonds motivate children for education. The circle closes and ascends to some higher space of being and every person has trust on God. A nice poem is excellently penned...10 (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kelly Kurt (4/21/2018 10:00:00 PM)

    I have little experience with most well known poets. I have seen things I appreciated (including this piece) No political or patriotic influence, but a history I wish I had more memories of my youth, and the zeitgeist. Poetry can capture some of this without intent. It can supplement history. (Report)Reply

    Daniel Brick(4/24/2018 4:16:00 AM)

    Thanks fir your appreciation of this poem, Kelly. Certain poems seem to choose us as much as we them. As for having a background of beloved poets, it's NEVER to late to choose two or three poets to read in depth. You can find poets afrchved at Poenhbuter.

    Dimitrios Galanis(4/23/2018 10:34:00 AM)

    Glad to see, dear Kelly, here your comment.

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 10 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags


Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 21, 2018



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. Television
    Roald Dahl
  10. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
[Report Error]