Quite Excellent Episode 010 - Leisure (And Bonus Poem: On My Daughter's Twentieth Minute...)

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By Wes Lydon. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Leisure
William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


On My Daughter’s Twentieth Minute
Putting on a Sock Before School
Wesley Lydon

The red-blocked digits on the microwave
have paused until, at twenty past, I have
made a sandwich, sliced diagonally,
and carrots, with ranch, each cut carefully
to exactly neither-too-big-nor-small,
and a fruit… cup, I suppose, for the ease
it offers, an iced water, and a treat
to show I’d ever thought of her at all.

I am sure we could be the poetry,
portrait, idyllic domesticity
in relief of smiling, loving mother,
of fathers, grandparents, other further
relations hand in hand with small children
beneath maudlinisms in quirky type
proclaiming a great Hallmarkian-like
love, thankful-like love, that kids are stilled in.

Instead, I am cautiously balancing
on a tightrope noosed around urgency
at one end and pulled taught at the other
by the need to instruct, model for her
composure and steadfastness and unflapp-
ability and poise and temperance
and a real cool-as-a-cucumberness
that ensures that we bend but never snap.

Meanwhile, in the enforced periphery,
apoplectically flailing flurry
of pantomime and nasal, shotgun grunts
that is my daughter, she aligns and mis-
aligns the toe-seam atop her toe-tips,
pulls it on, up, down, up, under, over,
accordion-from-a-ventilator
in essentialness: life, death if it fits.

Remember that you love her. You love her.
For her hugs in the early morning blur,
for stick drawings and rock, leaf, and bug gifts,
for “goodnight mom” and “huggy please” and this
feeling - she's struggling, too, with all of it.
Remember that when she is gone to school
you don’t feel in love or warmth half as full
as when she holds your hand and kisses it.

30 episodes