The Monday Poem: ‘Poem for the Family’ by Susan Cataldo

The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department. Enjoy!

Poem for the Family 
Susan Cataldo

Before I went to sleep, the soft lamplights
from the tenements across the street,
still, in the night, resembled peace.
There is something I forgot to be grateful
for. But I’m not uneasy. This poem
is enough gratitude for the day. That leaf
tapping against the window, enough
music for the night. My love’s even
breathing, a lullaby for me.
Gentle is the sun’s touch
as it brushes the earth’s revolutions.
Fragrant is the moon in February’s 
sky. Stars look down & witness,
never judge. The City moves
beneath me, out of sight.
O let this poem be a planet
or a haven. Heaven for a poet
homeward bound. Rest my son’s head
upon sweet dreams & contentment.
Let me turn out the light to rest.

Susan Cataldo (1952 – 2001) was born in the Bronx, New York City, and died there of cancer, having spent most of her intervening adult years living in Manhattan’ s East Village. In the late seventies she began her close involvement with the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery where she first participated in workshops and later taught. Besides her three books of poems published by Telephone Books (Brooklyn-Queens Day, The Mother Journal and drenched), her poems have appeared in numerous poetry publications as well as in various anthologies