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You Were So Solid, Father ...


You were so solid, father, cold and raw

as these north winters, where your angry will

first hardened, as the earth when the long chill

deepens—as is this country's cruel law—

yet under trackless snow, without a flaw

covering meadow, road, and stubbled hill,

the springs and muffled streams were running still,

dark until spring came, and the awful thaw.


In your decay a gentleness appears

I hadn't guessed—when, gray as rotting snow,

propped in your chair, your face will run with tears,

trying to speak, and your hand, stiff and slow,

will touch my child—who, sensing the cold years

in your eyes, cries until you let her go.


Richard Moore



From Word from the Hills, A Sonnet Sequence in Four
University of Georgia Press, © 1972.
Originally printed in Sparrow.  Reprinted by permission
of the author.

Backgrounds by
Purple Woods

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