Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Here's a poem to honor fathers and the lifelong influence they have on us. The late David Walker of Freedom writes of his attempt to reach his father, visible yet always in the distance. Walker's work appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Review and New England Review, among others. He was born in Damariscotta, educated at Bowdoin College and studied at Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1976 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. Reprinted from "Moving Out," University Press of Virginia, 1976, by permission of Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at 228-8263 or: firstname.lastname@example.org
By David Walker
At the far edge of the field, just in the shade,
my father waves; the heat cuts us in two
as I walk towards him. The stubble bleeds
yellow, then nearly white; it crunches like snow.
Into the sun I stride, erect in my cause
and body straining towards the other side.
Hands on his hips, my father watches me cross
calmly. I am revolved in the season's eye.
The sun leans in the distance, drawing a cloak
of pines slowly over its head; and still
he is waiting. Every year that I walk
his smile grows nearer. And I begin to smile.