One dreary morning on a winter day –
The sky was cloudy, depressing and gray –
For sunshine – I sent out a hopeful prayer
Rising in white wisps with my breaths of air –
Hoping it would be heard somewhere up There
Not long after – came a Divine reply –
As holes formed through the clouds up in the sky
And several sunbeams pierced through from up High –
In reverence – I greeted the lights of dawn –
‘Father – thank You for turning the lights on!’
01.16.95 – 01.18.95
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
This poem was half composed in my Dad’s Chevy Citation on the morning of Monday, Jan 16 1995. I didn’t remember the exact date like I might seem to have indicated here, but I do remember it was the start of the week and I was being driven to university to start another dreaded week in the final term of my Honours Chemistry B.Sc. program that had become rather disillusioning as I had made up my mind the year before I would do further studies in Chemistry. I can even tell you the spot where this happened, which was on Bayers Road, stuck at the traffic lights where the Halifax Shopping Centre connected to Bayers Road, heading towards Connaught Avenue. It’s still there today, even if a little different.
I was in the right back seat as my Parents were in the front seat, and the situation developed as described. I just wanted to see some sunshine, on a cloudy day, so to speak. The car was still cold for whatever reason so I could still see my breath in praying for that sunshine. By this time in my life, religion had been long gone, although that never stopped me from praying or writing poetry with reference to God or the Buddha in it, or both, as I had also begun picking up the habit of going to any, often several, religious institutions to pray for friends whenever something bad happened to them and it seemed they could use some prayers and Divine help. It’s being spiritual instead of religious, I used to say, which has caught on all its own over the years that it is sometimes a choice in filling out personal profiles when it comes to religion, but I did come up with the phrase for my life on my own.
And so as I wished for some sunlight, I noticed some thin areas in the clouds towards what would have been the southeast recalling the location of the car, direction and where these thin areas appeared to my right shoulder and just behind it that I had to turn my head to the max to see it, but without having to turn my body. Sure enough, within seconds of noticing these areas, the clouds broke in three circles and sunbeams of light came through, as if spotlights in the sky. It was beautiful and breath-taking, and often, anything like that, whether clouds or girls, will squeeze a poem out of me. It did, and I did say “Father – thank you for turning the lights on”, in very Christian priest and Emily Dickinsonesque style since she often wrote of God as “Father” and not “God”.
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