When I was seventeen and irksome

You knocked at my bedroom door

Swore through gritted teeth

That no matter what I did

No matter what my father’s booming voice decried

That I could always come home

Later, you were fifty-five and stupified

Slouched and spreading in tacky polyester

Your red-rimmed eyes were dulled

And I came to know what price your words

That kindness born only after many tears

See how the ground bulges each spring

And listen to the migrating birds call

Their return a recurring miracle

Like your gift to us of an angel sister

Or your bedtime readings of the rhymes

And wild tales written by Brothers Grimm

I shall always feel your soft hands on my back

This March, in stone light

The season of my birth

I am coming back to you

Just as I will always come back to you

With memories of tulips and spoken books

And your fountain in the backyard

From its center spouts a blue stream

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