Monday Night

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Family gathering together is what makes the holidays special.  Family, in all its forms.  We arrive, ring the doorbell, and are welcomed with hugs (or grunts.)  We eat and laugh and tell stories, catching up.  We play out the human drama in the family microcosm.  Older family members display what they have learned for younger generations to see, if they will.  Funerals, though enormously sad, have been some of my most meaningful family experiences.  We grieve together, share the family lore, and partake unquestionably in love.  Weddings, while hopefully more joyous occasions, strike me as similar.  Baptisms.  Bar-mitzvahs.  Holiday celebrations. Sunday dinners.  Even the mundane moment, however, gives families powerful moments to bond, to contemplate, to rejoice, to mourn, and to hope.  The poem “Monday Night,” below, describes one such moment from my family’s past, and relates to Chapter 16: Around the Fire Pit post of the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.

MONDAY NIGHT

Monday night,
and we gather again,
a family:
sitting on cinderblocks
around the fire pit;
holding long applewood sticks,
like fishing rods,
with points in the flames,
connecting
with the warmth, the glow,
the power and mystery of fire.
A family:
singing songs about
head, shoulders, knees, and toes,
and the beauty of God’s creations;
reading poems about kitties and calves,
and forks in the forest path;
telling stories of inspiration and faith;
munching popcorn and brownies;
keeping the cats away from our cups of milk.
Children
toss sticks into the flames,
poke smoking sticks into the ground,
carve their special sticks
with knives that are somehow always dull.
Sun sets behind towering pink and orange
Cumulous that dwarf the snow-capped mountains.
Fire settles into a ringed bed of shimmering coals.
Children quiet themselves
and stare into the ebbing heat and color.
Mom and Dad look to each other
and share an unspoken gratitude that,
for this moment,
life is good.

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10 thoughts on “Monday Night

  1. Paul

    Maybe it’s just the little boy in me, but I have always been entranced with the warmth and glow of a small camp fire. My father spent quite a bit of time among various Indian tribes. I remember from a young age him saying that the White man builds large fires and as a result has to stand back and will always be cold. The Indiians build small intimate fires and are able to sit close and stay warm. I have found that to be true over the years. Aside from the physical warmth of a small fire, there is additional warmth from being able to be close to family and friends, to share stories and messages of hope and love, and to quietly watch the delicate flames flicker and dance, the glowing embers shimmer, their colors always changing as they consume the last and final gift from the once living tree.

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    Reply
    1. Roger Baker-Utah Post author

      Thank you for visiting. I will post a new chapter of my book “Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a County Road” each week, interspersed with related poems and songs. I just posted chapter 16, with 34 chapters to go. I am so glad you enjoyed my poem “Monday Night.”

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  2. maggiepea

    How lucky is a child who is born into a living home. Where parents take the lead role and create these types of enriching activities and conscious efforts to create a strong and lasting bond with their children. You are arming them for the harsh blows they will witness from another scenario and an impartial world.
    Most of your posts show you sharing these special memories with your children. What a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. maggiepea

        We all make a lot of mistakes in raising our kids. I think I can live with my mistakes only because I know that overall…they know I loved them beyond measure. I think the mistakes we make may help arm them when they march off out into a world that does not love them unconditionally (as in starting school) and they will meet a lot of negative things coming at them. They need to experience some of that at home first so it isn’t such a shock.
        Just a thought…. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam

    I just wanted to say “thank you” for sharing your insights and perspectives about family in this beautifully written poem. It took me back to all the times our family gathered around a camp fire and spent time with each other. Such wonderful memories! Knowing your family I can just imagine your family enjoying moments like this together. Thank you again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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