elegy for my father

Why did you travel?
Because the house was cold.
Why did you travel?
Because it is what I have always done between sunset and sunrise.
What did you wear?
I wore a blue suit, a white shirt, yellow tie, and yellow socks.
What did you wear?
I wore nothing. A scarf of pain kept me warm.
Who did you sleep with?
I slept with a different woman each night.
Who did you sleep with?
I slept alone. I have always slept alone.
Why did you lie to me?
I always thought I told the truth.
Why did you lie to me?
Because the truth lies like nothing else and I love the truth.
Why are you going?
Because nothing means much to me anymore.
Why are you going?
I don’t know. I have never known.
How long shall I wait for you?
Do not wait for me. I am tired and I want to lie down.
Are you tired and do you want to lie down?
Yes, I am tired and I want to lie down.
—  Answers, from Mark Strand's Elegy for My Father
SOS (Someone Once Said) #72 ~ it is over . .

“There is starlight drifting on the black water.
There are stones in the sea no one has seen.
There is a shore and people are waiting.
And nothing comes back.
Because it is over.
Because there is silence instead of a name.” — Mark Strand, from Elegy for My Father, from nemophilies

. . and there is only silence

~ via onestoryuponatime and onceuponamomentintime with thisisitthis and thereisnomorei

Andrew Hudgins (B. 1951)

Elegy for My Father, Who Is Not Dead                      1991

One day I’ll lift the phone
and be told my father’s death. He’s ready.
In the sureness of his faith, he talks
about the world beyond this world
as though his reservations have
been made. I think he wants to go,
a litttle bit- a new desire
to travel building up, an itch
to see fresh worlds. Or older ones.
He thinks that when I follow him
he’ll wrap me in his arms and laugh,
the way he did when I arrived
on earth. I do not think he’s right.
He’s ready. I am not. I can’t
just say good-bye as cheerfully
as if he were embarking on a trip
to make my later trip go well.
I see myself on deck, convinced
I’ll see him standing on the dock
and waving, shouting, Welcome back.