Gerald Locklin: "The Best Year of Her Life"
Books from Gerald Locklin so far in 2013 include, along with Deep Meanings (Presa Press), a novella trilogy from Spout Hill Press: The Case of the Missing Blue Volkswagon, Come Back, Bear, and Last Tango in Long Beach (available individually from amazon.com), a reprint of Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems(2008) from Silver Birch Press, and a single-story e-book The Sun Also Rises in the Desert from Mendicant Bookworks (available on Smashwords). These three poems originally appeared in Deep Meanings: New and Selected Poems(Presa Press); they are reprinted with permission. You may learn more about the poet and contact him through his website and on Facebook.
The Best Year of Her Life
When my two-year-old daughter
sees someone come through the door
whom she loves, and hasn’t seen for a while,
and has been anticipating
she literally shrieks with joy.
I have to go into the other room
so that no one will notice the tears in my eyes.
Later, after my daughter has gone to bed,
I say to my wife,
“She will never be this happy again,”
and my wife gets angry and snaps,
“Don’t you dare communicate your negativism to her!”
And, of course, I won’t if I can possibly help it,
and, of course, I fully expect her
to have much joy in her life,
and, of course, I hope to be able
to contribute to that joy—
I hope, in other words, that she’ll always
be happy to see me come through the door—
but why kid ourselves—she, like every child,
has a life of great suffering ahead of her,
and while joy will not go out of her life,
she will one of these days cease to actually,
literally, jump and shriek for joy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gerald Locklin is now a Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Long Beach, where he taught from 1965 through 2007, and continues as an occasional part-time lecturer. A profile based on a retirement event was broadcast on NPR and is archived. He is the author of over 155 books, chapbooks, and broadsides of poetry, fiction, and criticism, with over 3000 poems, stories, articles, reviews, and interviews published in periodicals. His work is frequently performed by Garrison Keillor on his Writer’s Almanac daily Public Radio program, is archived on his website, and is included in all three of Mr. Keillor’s Good Poems anthologies. His most recent full-length collections of poems are Poets and Pleasure Seekers, Spout Hill Press, 2015, and The Marriage of Man the Maker and Mother Nature, Volume 2 of the Complete Coagula Art Poems, 2014. His books are available on Amazon.