Somewhere Between London and Rome

Turtle, bike ride, deer, gardens 140

The summer my father died,
I lost my language. No words
could meet the grief, could plumb
its depths or pierce its night-black
and binding embrace. I did not say
farewell; I could not be at his side,
his leave-taking more sudden
than my chance to span the time
and distance between us, my mother-
in-law’s memorial service here, my father
dying there, and I on the cross between,
swallowing insufficient language. And
every day, that blinding long summer,
I rode my bike to London or Rome,
grandly-named backcountry towns
in opposing directions from my home
beside the bike trail. I pedaled and listened
to Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt,
or the jazz my father loved. 12 miles
one way or the other, a lifetime cycling
through my heart. The bike and the music
knew my lost words and traveled me through
them to something like peace, somewhere
between London and Rome, where red-winged
blackbirds bobbing on Queen Anne’s Lace,
and chicory flowers, as blue as my father’s eyes,
tenderly brought me back to my language.

Turtle, bike ride, deer, gardens 136

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

4 thoughts on “Somewhere Between London and Rome

  1. Dear Kitty,
    I, too, remember that pain, and how listening to music he loved made me feel whole again. My father died in February 1996, when it was extremely cold outside. I treasured the memories of what he loved and that warmed me.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


    1. Thank you for sharing this, Diana; there can be such a special bond between fathers and daughters. And music is so very healing; I agree. My father died in 2002, July 3, and it was very hot. It’s funny how we recall the weather, but that’s the way of it; these life-altering moments are often so crowded with sense memories as well. Sending love and gentle peace to you this coming Father’s Day. Thank you, again, for visiting and offering your tender comment.


  2. Oh, dear, sorry this made you cry! Thank you for sharing, though, I value your responses because they’re always authentic and they matter to me a great deal.
    It is a beautiful bike trail and a gift to be so close, and it certainly is a wondrous place of healing in my life. Thank you, again, dear Snowbird. Sending love to you, always from my very grateful heart.


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