A replacement poem is when you have an original, in this case Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden, and replace all the nouns, adjectives, and verbs with words of your own. It’s an interesting exercise, you never know where you’ll end up.
Those Winter Sundays
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fired blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
Late in January
January too my sister stayed out late
and turned the car on in the starless cold
then with dry eyes that stung
from crying in the daytime ouse made
angered families yell. Everyone accused her.
I’d rise and see the headlights glaring, cutting.
When they were gone, she’d be gone,
and shakily I would go downstairs,
worrying the rising sun wouldn’t bring her back,
Whispering unheard to her,
who had lost her youth
and slept the sky away as well,
What could I know, she would scream,
of misplaced hope and quaking disappointment?