Mary Karr

(1955)

Requiem For The New Year - Poem by Mary Karr

On this first dark day of the year
my daddy was born lo
these eighty-six years ago who now
has not drawn breath or held
bodily mass for some ten years and still
I have not got used to it.
My mind can still form to that chair him
whom no chair holds.
Each year on this night on the brink
of new circumference I stand and gaze
towards him, while roads careen with drunks,
and my dad who drank himself
away cannot be found. Daddy, I'm halfway
to death myself. The millenium
hurtles towards me, and the boy I bore
who bears your fire in his limbs
follows in my wake. Why can you not be
reborn all tall to me? If I raise my arms
here in the blind dark, why can you not
reach down now to hoist me up?
This heavy carcass I derive from yours is
tutelage of love, and yet each year
though older another notch I still cannot stand
to reach you, or to emigrate
from the monolithic shadow you left.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 11, 2015



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