And what happened to you, little boy?

And what happened to you, little boy?

And what happened to you, little boy?
The last time that I saw you,
you were kicking your legs out with joy,
in the stackyard, while the geese ran past,
and the adults worked the farm around you.

Oh the usual bewildering mix
of joy and sorrow
left its mark upon me;
I tried to claim exemption from the pain,
but I failed.

I sat in the kitchen by the fire,
felt the warmth, watched the flames,
and ate the food cooked upon it;
my job each morning was to rake out the old,
and set the new to burn.
I tried to claim exemption from the ashes,
but I failed.

I heard the adults singing in the day,
a bubbling trail of laughter and of joy;
but as I learned those songs,
I began to hear beneath,
some crying and some wailing in disguise.
I tried to claim exemption from the choir,
but I failed.

Bewilderment stayed close
while the geese and adults left,
and I grew too old to march alone in joy;
for some reason I stayed on,
living more and more what’s here.
I’d tried to claim exemption from my life,
but I’d failed.

This entry was posted in offering collection, poems of childhood. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.