Thursday, January 1, 2009

astronomy & family

the crucible of family

in the crucible of a family
each of us can be so close
that the heat of friction and conflict is unavoidable,
our similarities and our differences rub against each other,
and we are drawn to both push the other away
and to hold them tighter,

we can learn to love the other
and to feel a binding together,
despite how annoying each of us can be,

in my family all the parents connected by blood are dead,
and we are blessed with only two of the spouses still present for us,
we cousins seek to keep alive that which connects us
while so much pushes us apart,

at the family Christmas party
it’s easy to just sit and visit with those closest,
I feel eyes brush over me,
judge whether I’m close enough to them to care,
and then it’s a smile, a hug,
or the eyes flit away,

I don’t know how long family can hold
after each dominant body fades away,
and we are no longer pulled from the line of our individual inertia,

we can, like comets, fall back inward toward a common center
at holiday, wedding, and funeral,
and the family of mother, father, child, and grandchild
creates new centers around which to revolve,

while our planet spins on its merry way,
it’s easy to forget all the tugs that hold us where are are,
and how connected we are whether we know it or not,

I choose to know it,
and I open myself to hold all that contributes to who I am.

by Henry H. Walker
December 29, ’08

1 comment:

Jannie Funster said...

"despite how annoying each of us can be" Aint that the truth!

"I feel eyes brush over me,
judge whether I’m close enough to them to care," my favorite line of the poem, also very telling of our human nature.