Tradition

 
Father, infuriated by his hair,

No longer spoke. Mother was sweetly sad.

He went through all the ways of young despair,

And thought he might be happy were he dead.

He lived. And learned uncharming lessons. How

Promise at twenty is possessed by all

Until the cash of youth runs out. To know

Oneself is hard. Such knowledge would appal

Too much the rigid pre-Socratic heart

And is kept back for later. Manners came

Again. He had a pleasant friendly air.

He often finished what he dared to start.

Much like his father now, he had the same

Unspeaking horror at his son’s long hair.