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Love Shows Itself…

Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden (The Norton Anthology)

Sundays too my father got up early

On top of cooking breakfast, he also irons for me.

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

We studied this poem in my American Literature class last week. I immediately thought of Tom (my husband) and the way that he rises early to make big, special breakfasts for us. We sleep cozy in our beds while he cooks, sets the table, and even begins part of the clean-up process. When everything is prepared, he wakes us.

Though the father in this poem seems ONLY to show his love with the things he does for his children, Tom is also an openly affectionate father / husband who tells us he loves us too.

Thanks, Tom.


About rlbreflections

Born and raised in Muskegon, Michigan. Graduated from Oakridge High School - Go Blue! Married a University of Michigan grad - Go Blue! Back in college full-time at East Tennessee State University - Go Blue!

7 responses »

  1. Nice. I liked this better than your 139 word essay about me!

  2. What a sweet post Rhonda! Tom is a wonderful husband and father : ) And a beautiful poem too, I’m so glad you shared it. I could envision it as he described his father’s early morning rising, starting the fire to warm the house.
    Our dad used to do that at the cottage for us too. There was a door separating the hallway to the bedrooms from the living/dining/kitchen area. Dad would get up much earlier than the rest of us, have his quiet time, and start a fire in the wood stove and make breakfast each day (as he did at home too!). We would get out of bed in the chilly Muskoka air, step out onto the cold linoleum floor, and put on our clothes as fast as possible. We knew that toasty warm air was waiting for us on the other side of that hallway door! Along with the warm air, was the wonderful smell of the wood stove, and the smell of breakfast ready and waiting for us : ) Fatherly-love : )

  3. I love this mommy. I love love love this. I almost started crying. ❤

  4. I love this poem! And that Uncle Tommy is such a nice man.

  5. I love our daddy. He is a good one. Whether it’s breakfasts, cleaning up after us, volunteering to do the dishes at the cottage or at home, buying me nice things (aka groceries) when he visits, he is always putting us above himself. What a reflection of the sacrifice of our Big Daddy. 🙂

    I love you, Daddy!

  6. Sounds like a keeper to me! Love you!


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