Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Best Year of Her Life

It's a sad poem. Real sad. It's about something every parent knows, but few say. But any parent who's more honest than the wife here in this poem knows it's a true poem. It's the very embodiment of  the old chestnut "Sad But True."

 

The Best Year of Her Life

by Gerald Locklin
When my two-year-old daughter
sees someone come through the door
whom she loves, and hasn't seen for a while,
and has been anticipating
she literally shrieks with joy.

I have to go into the other room
so that no one will notice the tears in my eyes.

Later, after my daughter has gone to bed,
I say to my wife,

"She will never be this happy again,"
and my wife gets angry and snaps,
"Don't you dare communicate your negativism to her!"
And, of course, I won't, if I can possibly help it,
and of course I fully expect her
to have much joy in her life,
and, of course, I hope to be able
to contribute to that joy —
I hope, in other words, that she'll always
be happy to see me come through the door—

but why kid ourselves — she, like every child,
has a life of great suffering ahead of her,
and while joy will not go out of her life,
she will one of these days cease to actually,
literally, jump and shriek for joy.

"The Best Year of Her Life" by Gerald Locklin, from Men of Our Time. © University of Georgia Press, 1992
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