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Inheriting Upward

By Ruth F. Harrison / June 17, 1996



Each son grows up and leaves a legacy:

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Chiaroscuro of days remembered, flavored

With that distinctive personality,

That childhood's essence, set apart and savored.

I see him now, Son Number Three, engrossed

At wooden table, with pliers or sanding tool

Near Dad and chassis, building radios,

Learning to solder, perched on kitchen stool.

He loved the rosy sheen of copper wire,

Bent it to form bright crescents, subtle tangles;

Gemmed with each silver solder; strung its fire

On leather; shaped a pendant's arcs and angles.

Now grown, our fledgling builder takes to wing.

In small blue planes whose every joint he knows,

He loops to lyric height, makes pattern sing

In air which, metal-bright, glows where he goes.

And I, who dreamed a parent's dreams, inherit

Wind and swift sky and shining: all I can.

As for the copper pendant, still I wear it

Both for the child that was, and for the man.