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[I never do this, but today Writers Almanac offered a poem that made me want to keep it .]
To a Young Son
<!– (from Fatherless Woman) –>
Today I passed your room
and you were slowly quietly
combing your hair.
It was a pleasant, calm moment.
I felt the silence of the room
and could almost hear you growing.
You combed without a mirror,
your eyes distant and pale,
your head slowly nodding
like the head of a stroked animal.
Xerxes the King sent out a spy
who returned to camp, astonished to say
that the Spartans were all stripped to the waist
their bodies gleaming in the Aegean sun
and they were all carefully combing their hair.
The king was afraid then.
The Spartans were preparing to die.
I turn slowly from your doorway
and return to the linen closet where I
will fold this memory in my heart
among everything that is clean and fresh and white.
“To a Young Son” by June Beisch, from Fatherless Woman. © Cape Cod Literary Press, 2004. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
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