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The New Ice Age

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  • The New Ice Age

    One lives in hope of becoming a memory.
    - Antonio Porchia

    In my father’s open casket
    I saw on his right temple a dark bruise
    That looked like South America
    Perhaps it happened
    When he dropped dead in his kitchen
    On an early July morning
    Turning off the radio’s news
    That he had listened to
    While nursing a cup of strong coffee

    At his funeral
    My father wore a shabby brown suit –
    His only suit – saved for
    Weddings, graduations and funerals –
    The shiny cheap tie
    Loaned by the mortuary

    When I touched his right hand
    It was much colder
    Than stone
    With an oppressive coldness that reminded me
    Of the last Ice Age
    At the end of the Pleistocene
    Come suddenly back to Ann Arbor
    With its 6000+ feet of solid ice
    Weighing on my mind

    Heavy as the world’s scouring indifference
    To my father’s life and death
    As my eyes
    Slowly welled up with tears

  • #2
    Hot and salty were the drops, wet with melting love, carving weight away.

    My sympathy Tanner. I know the sadness of this cold which only the love of being known can thaw.


    • AlexandratheLate
      AlexandratheLate commented
      Editing a comment
      Love your comment Paula. So sad Tanner but our loved ones live on in our memories.

  • #3
    memory makes us right-write thank you


  • #4
    Tanner I too, know the sadness; its what started my writing. My sympathy; there is no better person than you to record the memories you have shared and you do it so eloquently that it permits us all to let those welled up tears flow. Thank you for sharing this.


    • #5
      Tanner, this is a jarring emotional write.

      You effectively encapsulate the emotion of having ones world upended, while the rest of life just continues on, indifferent to your loss.

      I have felt that way before, but never could articulate it, as powerfully as you have here.

      Apart from being an extremely moving piece, it deploys some artful poetic devices.

      The ice age metaphor, punctuates the coldness of human indifference, and the abruptness of loss.

      Excellent poem.


      • #6
        RLW, ATL & mooneyblack - You are all exceptionally wise women with beautiful character and temperament and with very very high amounts of emotional intelligence. I thank you for your visits and empathetic comments. They mean a lot to me.

        DWAYNE. I love your synopsis of my poem. As far as poetic devices I think they emerged subconsciously. My father died 26 years ago. I remember standing at his coffin for about 5 minutes - irritated first by the cheap tie, puzzled by the bruise which he obviously got when he collapsed and hit the floor while walking across the kitchen, and lastly by the coldness - I expected his skin to feel cold, but not that cold! I can still feel the oppressive coldness today.

        We all need to love our family and friends, and stay out of harm's way as best we can. Thanks to all again.

        With Affection, Tanner
        Last edited by Tanner; 01-04-2018, 12:37 PM.