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Winter Nights
Mary Lou Taylor

I hear him opening drawers
cupboards, the icebox
creep from my bed
sit beside him
feeling big
in the solid oak chair 
at the kitchen table
its flowered oilcloth cover
and blue-rimmed bowls
filled with broken graham crackers
creamy milk. 
We don’t talk, my father and I
content together
at this ungodly hour
of three in the morning.
Outside dark sky
and part of a constellation
glimpsed through the window.
Which one doesn’t matter.
I know that he will be
as he has always been
my North Star.
© by Mary Lou Taylor.
Used with the author’s permission.


Mary Lou Taylor tried three other majors before settling on English. A teacher off and on for many years, she got serious about writing poetry after she retired. Author of one book and published in several journals and anthologies, she has a second book in the works and has proven retirement to be the myth it so often is by continuing to teach a few writing and poetry classes. Learn more about Mary Lou, who lives in Saratoga, California, at


Post New Comment:
Beautiful! Brings the tears. I second Larry's wish.
Posted 06/16/2012 10:54 AM
My father didn't talk much either. I don't remember his ever saying "I love you"--but I never doubted it for a second! Lovely tribute, Mary Lou.
Posted 06/15/2012 08:39 AM
I love the scene and appreciate the sensory components. Very nice to be part of such a tender moment.
Posted 06/15/2012 08:06 AM
Larry Schug:
If I had one wish it would be to have my dad back for just a couple hours. We'd be eating Wheaties, he liked ice cream on his, and I'd ask him all the questions I can't ask him any more. Thanks, Mary Lou.
Posted 06/15/2012 07:26 AM
Great poem as we approach Father's Day.
Posted 06/15/2012 06:31 AM

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