Skip to main content

In the West

ISSUE:  Summer 1979
My mother’s father missed out on Swami Muktananda.
He thought that the suits he pressed for 29 years
In the basement of Famous-Bar Department Store
Were real, real as his skill on the French horn,
As his pride in the marches he composed for the store band.
The breath he blew in the horn seemed his alone,
Not part of the great wind rumored to enfold the globe,
Dropping leaves from the banks of the Ganges at his door.

And did the holy void lean down to listen
When his band played? He never noticed if it did.
For him the audience was his two girls,
Proud of their pa, dressed in their summer dresses
In O’Fallon Park by the gravel landing of the pond.

He never meant his weekends in his garden as a sign
That he wanted to be gathered in, plucked out of time.
The work relaxed him. It delighted his two girls,
Who hoed along with their father as a kind of play.
Maybe he thought that one day the garden
Would please their sons, and dreamed of me
At this window, gazing on the yard,
Though then, as now, in the evening light
The garden must have appeared far down
Like a garden on a card, fading at the margins,
With fainter writing on the other side.


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Recommended Reading