Special Enough

We sat by the fire, warmed by coals and wine and Irish Cream. A light mist touched our faces, it was not rain. We sang the beginning of many songs but only twice remembered a whole tune through. All the words are in there, we said. Why won’t some come? It’s not so cold out here.

My mother read ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew‘ by Robert Service; it was her late father’s party piece and he could recite it and so many others from memory and heart and gut. The words would come for him, some people are brilliant that way:

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o’-love, the lady that’s known as Lou…

All I could recall was the wee Western Wind. I watched my friend Emily recite a Thomas Hardy poem and wished I was special, and better. I’ll try tomorrow.

Western wind, when will thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?
Christ! If my love were in my arms,
And I in my bed again! 

The small rain down can rain. The small rain down can rain. The. Small. Rain. Down. Can. Rain. I love this sentence. Knowing this one sentence might make me special enough.



3 thoughts on “Special Enough

  1. Yes, Deborah, that anonymous medieval lyric has long been one of my favorites too. It is a very special piece of poetry, composed of the simple quality of human longing which I think is also related to the kind of longing for self-expression which you are describing in your post.

  2. My father-in-law is a fan of Robert Service – his is the only poetry he can recite from memory, all these years after learning them.

    I am a fan of many poets, and lines of prose, but I remember only scraps. They are the best bits, I think. And that is enough for me.

  3. I hear the power with which you pass the one sentence on. With screeds of remembered poems this post and these particular words might not have made it. And I do like these words very much.

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