The Complexity of Compassion
for my father
When you are old,
re-spin me your beginnings
from their Greek and Irish
coordinates, unplot straight lines
of ancient made-up histories,
upend the stakes of claims in bindings
of your mother's mother's mother's womb
cut and spilling life unto life into care.
When you are grey,
recall me to the look of the father
for his daughters not your sons, loose
your pock-marked map we carried fixed
into our futures, cardinal points worn
dim but steadfast ever in their tending to
of place, where time's and the body's limits
join the suffering together and to death.
When you are old and grey
and full of sleep, speak to me no more
of forgiveness, obedience, and joy.
It is enough, a simple laying on of hands.
© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved._______________________________
I wrote this poem for the Tuesday, June 15, Blog Carnival sponsored by Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time and Peter Pollock of Rediscovering the Church.
The Blog Carnival is a biweekly online event open to anyone. Participants write on a one-word prompt or topic. This week's is "compassion".
At Bridget's place you'll find a list of links to all of the contributions, which are posted throughout Tuesday and often through to the end of the week.
The Blog Carnival's FaceBook page is here.
The prompt for the next Blog Carnival, on June 29, is "strength".
*I also wrote this poem for Carry on Tuesday, which each week provides a prompt that participants are to use wholly or partly in an original poem or prose piece.
The prompt for Tuesday, June 15, comes from the opening lines of a William Butler Yeats' poem "When Your Are Old": When you are old and grey and full of sleep.
To read other Carry on Tuesday contributors' poems or prose for Prompt #57, go here.