Anniversary Poem

Today is my parents’ 56th wedding anniversary. Happy day, Mom and Dad!

On the night of their 30th anniversary in 1986, I was a college student at Chico State in northern California. I had a job as a security guard, and that night I was assigned to watch a research weather station on a remote road high on the bluffs overlooking the valley and the town.

Thinking of my folks, I took out my notebook and wrote this poem, which was published in 1992 in my book Finding Oakland.

IN PASSING 

I have spent these hours
in silence    watching darkness
take this blue canyon
a little traffic
and the town lights
in the valley
A pair of mice   eyes
like black seeds    watched me
pass on a steep trail   pushing
my little light to the end
of this road
I wonder what you’ve known
together    what nights in quiet
canyons    lights passing quickly
to rest in distant places
these thirty years
At sunset I saw a hawk
on a fence post far below
spread his wings and climb
beyond the light
  
J. Kyle Kimberlin
from the book Finding Oakland
White Plume Press, 1992
All rights reserved
Download the book, without charge (PDF).
I’m intrigued by the unusual spaces that appear in the lines, for example, “in silence    watching darkness…” I don’t do that anymore; I very rarely have. So it must have been in style among poets I was reading at the time. Possibly, local writers in the CSUC English Dept. It’s not a common technique, but seems to be making some claims on the cadence. 
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2 thoughts on “Anniversary Poem

  1. Many regards to your parents on a long marriage – so many years to celebrate!I love the poem – the spaces were intriguing as I read but I think I inserted the cadence I wanted as I read it "out loud in my head." :)Love especially the mice eyes like black seeds and the what lights in quiet canyons – the latter made me think of both Shakespeare and the Moody Blues – a delightful aside.

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