Grandfather, grandmother – children of the Depression
I am theirs, as much as they are mine;
Teachers demanding fealty to the life of learning,
A loyalty I eagerly, willingly gave.
They bought my books, remembering old struggles –
Their own poverty in payment for the life of learning
The payment of energy to bring them asymptotic (academic) freedom
Unbound from family failure – unreasonable destiny of drink or despair.
They bought my books, paying for my own freedom of mind.
I brought their gifts to them, proud and shy
Telling them what I learned – embryonic physicist
Full of relativity to share with relatives
But my frame of reference is mine, theirs was theirs;
We are symmetrical (not identical).
Now they are both ash – my own writing
Will never lie in their laps as my big (proud) textbooks did.
But I am theirs, as much as they are mine:
Symmetry – relative(ity).
[For April, I will be posting a poem each week. An earlier version of this poem originally appeared on my Tumblr.]