Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

One Clear Call

by William on 2012-04-26

Yesterday morning (25 April) as I was driving to work, listening to Morning Edition on NPR, I learned that April is National Poetry Month, and today (26 April) is Poem in Your Pocket Day.

The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.

I honestly was not expecting what happened next. As I started to consider whether I wanted to participate, and if so, what poem I would pick, I remembered that 26 April is also my motherʼs birthday. She would have turned 59 today.

My thoughts immediately turned to a poem that was fresh on my mind because it figures prominently in a book I read recently: Crossed, by Ally Condie. This is the poem I want to share with you.

Crossing the Bar, by Alfred Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
  And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
  When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
  Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
  Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
  And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
  When I embark;

For thoʼ from out our bourne of Time and Place
  The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
  When I have crost the bar.

After I made the connection between the poem and my mother, I began to cry. This was the first time I have cried about my mother since she passed away last summer. Iʼm sure she hoped for a lot of things, and I bet one of them was, “And may there be no sadness of farewell, / When I embark;”.

But these were no tears of sadness. My mother followed that one clear call echoing out from the boundless deep, and she has turned again home. I know she has now seen her Pilot face to face, as we all will one day.