What must it be like to be a boy,
to speak with your father's voice, pouring out
your thick, strong throat.
I am envious!
I would spend dreamy autumnal days,
tracking back all the things I ever said,
the golden cord of a father language.
Ancient, sacred father words!
A language spoken at a feast of fathers,
proud and able men who had been waiting for me
to learn their bold tongue.
What must it be like to have a grandfather!
to know the words
of the songs of your father's father, heady and thumping.
Songs of victory and devotion,
of ruination and soulful father mourning,
sung out clear over the golden father table.
Gobble down the memories of fathers
and enjoy the happy, full feeling they afford you!
(If I could learn the silvery, waning
language of mothers
and speak it as mine did,
like hers before her, I would.)
(But I have no ear for tongues.)