If I Could Cry


In a poem titled The Quarrel by Stanley Kunitz, he writes: “If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.” As I reread many of the poems of this Poet Laureate, I found some poems that resonated.

I have been feeling down lately. Sad because of the violence and hatred that seems to appear everywhere.  Sometimes I want to cry but I can’t. What good would it do anyway? So in honor of Stanley Kunitz I have written the following poem using a line from his poem The Quarrel.

 

She is just three and a half

but knows me so well

she could sense there was something wrong

with her beloved abuela*

who she calls “guela”*.

I did not want to tell her

what was in my heart

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

I thought about how lucky she is

to have all her grandparents.

What a blessing.

 

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

and I am too old to be beguiled

and sweet memories have been filed

away in a cloud somewhere.

 

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

What good would it do anyway?

Who listens to the cry of an orphan?

 

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

There is just too much to cry about.

There is no doubt.

Or is there?

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

 

  • grandmother
  • grandchild’s way of saying abuela

 

 

“All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.”


peace

“All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.”
“What’s in a name?”
A name possesses a soul of its own
A soul does not leave the body until it garners enough love
For eternity to judge its worth

My heart hankers for peace if that is what it is called
Because sometimes it seems what we have entitled it
does not truly claim or maintain it,
“Peace is not a season but a way of life.”

“All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.”
Am I to blame for such uncertainty?
A longing for something so elusive,
So exclusive
That not even my brain can perceive
Or receive
“What is in a name, I asked my muse.”
“All my life, my heart has longed for a thing I could not name.”

Will my desire be the refrain?