Poets’ Corner: Rosemerry For Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring, well, fathers. The holiday also celebrates fatherhood in general, paternal bonds, and the influence of dads in society. For some, however, Father’s Day is shorthand for pulling out a wallet. Again. Gifts of watches and Fitbits, beard trimmers and bespoke home distilleries and grills, tickets to sports events, all common ways to honor dads. Uncommon are words like the ones Rosemerry Trommer wrote to honor her father-in-law, on the way to his funeral. “He was a wonderful man, one who kept me on my toes.”

The form of Rosemerry’s heartfelt tribute is a villanelle, the most famous example of which was a poem by Dylan Thomas, written when his own father was dying.

Here’s to fathers who are with us and to the memory of those who have passed. On their day, Rosemerry helps us celebrate their love, strength, wisdom – and complexity. 


Forecast for Mourning

for my father-in-law

I do not know how to remember him—

his bluster, thunder, warmth, his glassy sea.

He was like weather, changing all the time.

Like two words that almost, but do not rhyme,

that’s how we loved. We’d try, but seldom met.

I do not know how to remember him.

I’d hide a bit each time that he’d come in,

unsure if he would snarl or want to please.

He was like weather, changing all the time.

Drought. Flood. The rain with softest hands

that turns to hail. A mist that’s miles deep.

I do not know how to remember him.

White out. And the blue sky after. Wind

that breaks the limbs. And docile morning breeze.

He was like weather, changing all the time.

The memories rearrange like leaves in autumn.

What is this nagging urge to rake them neat?

I do not know how to remember him.

He was like weather, changing all the time.


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Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Lifelover Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer lives in Southwest Colorado, where she is Poet Laureate emeritus of San Miguel County. She teaches poetry for Think 360, The Aesthetic Education Institute of Colorado, Ah Haa School for the Arts, and Camp Coca Cola. Her poetry has appeared in O Magazine and on A Prairie Home Companion. Her poetry collections include The Miracle Already Happening: Everyday life with Rumi, Intimate Landscape, Holding Three Things at Once (Colorado Book Award finalist) and If You Listen. She performs with Telluride’s seven-woman a cappella group, Heartbeat, and sings nightly for her two children, Finn and Vivian. She and her husband, Eric, own a 75-acre organic fruit farm, where she learns the art of letting go. Favorite three-word mantra: I am learning. Favorite one-word mantra: Adjust.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

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