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Respite
by
Kristin Spooner


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Most mornings on my way to work,
when I’m almost late but not quite,           
I pass a white house with a black driveway.
There, a young son and father play:
catch, usually, across the whole length of the driveway,
grounders that bounce and spin, quick line drives,
or occasionally basketball, short jumpers and lay-ups.
Both son and father are slight but wiry, and when the air
nips with the imminence of winter, the son                             
dons a bright orange knit cap, its glow dotting
the darkness of the drive as he moves.            

If I am actually late, and they have finished playing,
the father waits with his arm around his son
until the school bus arrives.
 
When winter comes, with layers of ice
and dustings of snow and winds that pierce
all caps, orange or otherwise, the white house                   
with the black driveway hibernates and offers no reprieve     
from what wrecks the world—terror at a finish line,
twenty empty desks, a dark soul in a dark theater— 
so on these mornings I simply drive, shivering, 
and stare straight ahead.
 
But now, it is spring. The start of it, anyhow,
with brave buds that softly sneak onto branches
and a firm rush of rain to wash away winter’s refuse.
And this week, they appeared to me again,
the light of his cap catching my eye as I drove by.
 
They probably have a backyard, one laden
with soft grass, one that does not face a busy road.
But this father and son who find
the time to throw the ball each early morning
prefer the driveway.

So together, we are buoyed and carried
on the paths that we face each day. 

© by Kristin Spooner.
Used with the author’s permission.

 

 
Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 Kristin Spooner is a high school English teacher who studied literature and writing at Augustana College, DePaul University, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has a yellow Labrador/basset hound mix named Piper and, when she’s not trying to teach teenagers how to be kind and read good books, she enjoys refining her Fantasy Football team, taking photographs, and searching for cheap ways to travel. Kristin lives in the suburbs of Chicago.

 

 


Post New Comment:
J T M:
A beautiful and moving poem about real life.
Posted 03/26/2014 03:36 PM
plgoodman:
Lovely, Kristin. You get right to the heart of what makes us tick. (no pun intended)
Posted 03/26/2014 01:09 PM
Glen Sorestad:
Just a lovely poem, Kristin. Very moving. Congratulations.
Posted 03/26/2014 11:44 AM
chris schulz:
Kristin, Your poem speaks loudly to me today as we all wait for survivors in Washington State and grieve the losses on Flight 370."So together, we are buoyed"
Posted 03/26/2014 11:14 AM
peninsulapoet:
Both the poem and the bio are moving. Keep up the good work, the world needs it.Donna Hilbert
Posted 03/26/2014 10:07 AM
wyantjl42:
Such a beautiful and inspiring piece--disarming in its simplicity. Thought the form could be a little tighter, but loved the sentiments so artfully expressed.
Posted 03/26/2014 08:45 AM
Sherry:
Very nice.
Posted 03/26/2014 08:07 AM
Janet Leahy:
Don't ever change your route to school, such a pleasure to read this and think about those lucky students learning to be kind.
Posted 03/26/2014 08:00 AM
fer:
This brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely start to my day, Kristin. Thank you for "Respite", and thank you for what you do in your classroom.
Posted 03/26/2014 07:09 AM
Larry Schug:
Kristin, you have a poet's eye and a poet's heart. Thank you for teaching kindness and reading.
Posted 03/26/2014 06:45 AM
laurasalas:
This is just so lovely!
Posted 03/26/2014 05:51 AM
gigi:
Beautiful thoughts, eloquently shared.
Posted 03/26/2014 05:10 AM


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