This is something of a random, impulsive post; but I just had to share with you a wonderful poem that was introduced at the reading group I attend. We are lucky to have the poet Julia Copus running our group and last night she was able to spend just a few moments on three short verses by American Poet Thomas Lux. However, they made a deep impression.
The poem speaks to me of all those things that I feel are important at the moment; growing up, growing older and learning not to regret anything. Understanding the natural progression of things and learning not to fear them. It reinforces the value of life at the same time as summarising it in one fabulous sentence: ‘You did, you loved, your feet are sore’. And it highlights the importance of noting these things – in poetry, prose, a diary – to make sure our precious thoughts aren’t lost.
It is also a call to parents to seize the day: children speed to adulthood and suddenly they are forging their own path.
A Little Tooth by Thomas Lux
Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone. It’s all
over: she’ll learn some words, she’ll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker on his way to jail. And you,
your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing. You did, you loved, your feet
are sore. It’s dusk. Your daughter’s tall.
For me it was even more poignant. As Julia finished reading, my beautiful – and tall – 16 year old daughter knocked and came in for her lift home.
Apparently too many of us in our 40’s and 50’s are finding little time to write about the truth of our own daily lives, our own feelings about the world we live in. Those journals that would be so precious to our grandchildren, nephews or nieces when they want to learn more of their past are put to one side in favour of thinking about our own ancestry. We have to remember that the dusk Thomas Lux speaks of comes around all too soon. So try everything, regret nothing, note everything…..