Poem Hunter
College: Father: An Apology
(Jan.20,1943 / Oklahoma)

College: Father: An Apology

A building infinite in dimension,
With many doors,
Opening to an unsheltered walkway
That circumscribes the whole…
Beyond this lies the desert of insanity.

Only one door is said to open to the center.
You were born behind that door
In the passage discovered by your father,
The way he believed would lead you
To the center in all its centerness.
You venture forth but an impassable wall
Quickly crushes that dream with all the pain
Of man's brief spark, his second of existence.
Now you creep past your father, asleep in his hall,
On the darkest night of your life.

Morning passes you on the walkway.
Soon the heat forces you to shelter,
A door opens at your touch,
You step out of the sun
Into the coolness of an infinite grace;
But this hall is alive with shadows,
Slowly pupils adjust, widen to see…
There at arm's length, the hall's end.
On touching it hope is reborn,
This at least is real!
Could the next door be as easy?
Trying again you walk a day,
And suddenly you find the waiting wall.
Self-confidence blossoms into
Far more doors than years,
Affirmed are countless failures,
Again the new door, the sure step,
You venture toward the certain ending.

You step boldly through the weeks, the months,
This is the longest passage yet encountered,
Now it bends, twists, darkens, lightens…
Without warning you realize that you are alone!
The air colder, the shadows somehow less familiar,
Progress is slower, more cautious…
Now the first flicker of danger -
Did the light just get dimmer, the floor vibrate,
What was that sound?
A running terror tramples the silence.

In a few short moments the door is yours,
The months of walking, lost, forgotten,
You embrace the safety of sure exit,
And collapse exhausted.

Time passes, but then the door opens.
The girl, at first frightened, pauses…
Then empathetically kneels to touch the brow
Of the pre-natal ball trembling there.
You slowly uncoil and as unfamiliar
Comfort chases paleness from your cheeks,
Tell her of the passage you discovered.
Enthralled she listens and entreats you to return,
To both guide and accompany her
Through your passageway, to the center.
No longer alone, you agree; the journey begins.

Years later, the pace hindered by both age
And children, you two pause to rest…
You tell your children of your discovery,
The passage to the center, their inheritance.
One by one they leave you
Only to find the inevitable wall
And slip silently past you in the night.
Yet seeming failure might become success
If only one could embrace the infinite center.

User Rating: 5 / 5 ( 0 votes ) 3

Comments (3)

well, i started reading this again before realizing i read and commented on it about two months ago. i was attracted to the title then i suppose, as i was today. i think BJ may have added a poet's note, as i certainly don't remember reading what is there now; i greatly appreciate the note, Brian. once in a while i think it would be nice to have my parents around again to ask them a question or two. but it is not a big deal. i have also wished i had the opportunity to thank them for what they did for me [ not that i wasn't thankful while they were still alive ], despite the fact they put me into a world which is not perfect! at least they gave me a very good start and supported me or left me alone along the way after i went off to college and the rest of my life. thanks, parents. and they had five kids to deal with. good grief! thanks for sharing. now, WHERE can i find Why Do Turtles Cross The Road? , which of course they DON'T [do i use a period or question mark at the end of this sentence; ok, i'll use neither]! :) bri
A running terror tramples the silence. ......my favorite line so far. this is an engaging poem. must finish reading it. these lines as well: You slowly uncoil and as unfamiliar Comfort chases paleness from your cheeks, .....reminds me of some sci-fi story. i have 'trouble' with symbolism in writing. it is not my style and i have trouble recognizing it or deciphering it, i think. the last stanzas seems more my style. but i still don't understand the significance of the title 'an apology', or understand what the infinite center is.....god? ....love? .....? despite my comments above (some of them) , i'll give this a 7 1/2 at least. it was entertaining. thanks for sharing. :) bri
Good one. I really enjoyed reading this poem.