Sixty years ago I boarded a train bound for Seattle, Washington.
I was 22 years old
Eager to leave the rigid confines of my family, church and country.
My parents stood at the station, grieving - in ways I couldn't understand then.
Forty years later, in California, I wrote the following lines:
I THINK IT WAS LOVE
I sat, dry-eyed, unmoved, annoyed
Inside the train sliding slowly
Away from their pleading, tearful
Prayerful faces - mute with fears -
And possibly love?
IF it was love - why so heavy with
Unspoken threats of damnation
And alienation? - So laden with unbearable
Grief for my soul - and their lost hopes.
I think now that the silent sorrow
In their eyes welled from hearts
Broken by my incomprehensible rejection
Of all they held dear.
And of them.
~ I'm sorry it took so long ~
my necessary leaving and to know
THAT THEY LOVED ME - IN THEIR OWN WAY
And I love them - dearly, tho' long gone.