My dad was a writer. He loved the written word and he loved books. In his 88 years, he wrote two novels, poems, stories and articles. Many of which were published. He even wrote and published a few cartoons for The New Yorker.
My sister, Robin, found this poem tucked in a box my dad had sent to her before he moved to Florida. I want to share it with you.
MOMENT IN THE NIGHT
In the moment of the moment of remembering
in the empty moon-bathed street.
And beneath the street-light's arc, the shadow
running long, then short, then long.
And behind the doors, the darkened windows
night shades drawn, the lovers.
Hushed and heavy hangs the bow, the night
bird's startled cry cut short, the rumble of
the late train's passing.
At the crossing the whistle echoes, and the river
bridge over the water far below, moving
slowly towards the sea.
Oh, remembered of the nights in the shadows by
the lakeside ... the closeness, the feeling,
Softly crossed the flesh, the curve of the bough,
arm-limbs arched and fingers pointing to-
wards the sky.
For in the moment in the nightness and the
moonlight is the doorway to all things loved
and all things feared.
For in the moment, time stops, and quivers in
the shadows .... and is gone.
* * Wendell E. Smith
My dad wrote this poem when he was 25, before he met my mother. It wasn't long after, that he met my mom and began passing notes under her door, as she didn't have a phone at that time. She and her mom had just moved into an apartment next door to my dad and his brother in Morristown, NJ. She once told me that she fell head-over-heels for him on their first date. They had so much in common. They both loved to read and to write, and they were both teachers. They both were youthful and looked like they were in their teens when they married in their late 20's. I am so thankful that we have this poem, and other works that he wrote. I hope that as we clean out my dad's things, and pour through the dozens of boxes he left behind, we will find many more of his writings and musings. He was a true poet for the ages.