The times were wrong. Still you kept your gentle ways. This was your greatest strength although I don't believe you ever really knew it. You were swimming upstream all the way, keeping sweet, divinely sweet.m I grew up afraid of being too much like you, sweet, divinely sweet: I'd watch the world roll over your kindness like a determined tank; a war machine has so little regard for tenderness. Meek was not in style if ever it was -- nobody like you ever whon high honors or made anything happen, not in Spokane anyway, and that was all there was to my world; not anywhere, i guess. Looking back I see the very times were wrong. Like a church bell ringing in a gale your voice was nearly drowned out, everthing was stacked against you, Against love.m It was a different season, the world bristled with hate and you were simply out of sync. I know it made you sad so much of my childhood spent playing war, pushing make-believe enemy soldiers out of all the vacant lots in the neighborhood. WW II taught us kids a dreadful fallacy: that only the tough survive. Why didn't you take our guns away?m By the time you were gone I'd grown up, come to suspect that your way was the only one that really works. Funny, I couldn't get it while you were here and now that you're gone the lesson comes in loud and clear: the birds do not declare war,m to defend their territory they sing;m
and whenthe last fire bomb i extingushed and all the pompous tanks are rusting away in their tracks and all the extravaganza of battle sputters out and all the sounds of marching feet fall still the tender grass unfolds, though crushed by cruelest thread the litle grass endures, unbends, springs up! Mother, it was a long time before I could admit it but you were right, you really have triumphed, you've won out after momentary defeat over all the odds; like all sweet green and growing things your kindness and your love revive, rise up again. Now it is April, seasons of torrential change and repentance, of resurrection. The sky explodes, gray clouds burst, the streets and glad meadows are awash in the rain: it seems to me the whole earth weeps confessing at last how much it needed you.