Those Winter Sundays
|Those Winter Sundays |
| Sundays too my father got up early|
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires 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?
This poem reminds me how much I take my parents for granted. I try not to but its easy to not remember to count our blessings. In this poem, the father provides heat to the chilly house and without thanks. I take this as a metaphor for all the unmentioned little things that parents do that we can easily forget about. I like how in the next to last line he repeats "what did I know", implying that now, as an adult and perhaps a father himself, he finally understands the love a parent has for his or her children, something he couldn't grasp as a young boy. I remember when my dad would call me for breakfast and if I didn't get dressed and wash up fast I'd get yelled at, but I always thought of that and never the fact that he woke up early and made me a meal, and with his hard-earned money bought the groceries to make me that meal. It must be hard to do things for someone that doesn't appreciate the things you are doing for them, but that is what the poet is talking about : the unconditional love of a parent for their children, a love that surpasses even the one for themselves.