Here are a Father and Son

Editor’s Note:

The author, Mia C., of this villanelle is a former Jefferson student.  She is currently studying Writing and Science at the University of New Mexico in preparation for a dual major in Creative Writing and Biology. A villanelle is a traditional Italian 19 line poem.  The poem includes line repetition and rhyming to create a hardy, flexible poetic form.  Anybody can submit a villanelle or any other types of writing in poetic or prose form to the Jeffersonian.  Send those via email here or as a hard-copy to Mr. Key.  And now the poem…

 

Here are a father and son

Sitting across from one another, eyes creating an arc over the stout fabric of the carpet

One with a thousand days ahead, the other—a thousand done

The son holding days like shreds of paper in cupped hands, the father clutching none

Charged with their intensity, communication lines flatten, each the other’s target

Here are a father and son

Little white slivers of years, thin curls of bleached ideas, spill onto the son’s lap—overrun

By the small plans and big intentions scribbled on them, his sense of infallibility ardent

One with a thousand days ahead, the other—a thousand done

They cannot reach through the clouded space of so many decades, the distance too great to run

Hands unable to grasp what they want most, fingers grow stiff and hardened

Here are a father and son

Pages of their lives span the crevice of their lifetimes, pasts rewritten but not redone

The son faces the gravestone, watching his father’s etched name, past grievances pardoned

One with a thousand days ahead, the other—a thousand done

Velvet, worn bits of paper crumbling in his pocket, a reality impossible to outrun

A gap narrowing eternally, a name reflected on granite over and over in a morning darkened

Here a father and son

One with a thousand days ahead, the other—a thousand done

By Mia C.

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