Robert Bly

Calling Your Father

There was a boy who never got enough.  
You know what I mean. Something 
In him longed to find the big 
Mother, and he leaped into the sea.

It took a while, but a whale  
Agreed to swallow him. 
He knew it was wrong, but once 
Past the baleen, it was too late.

It's OK. There's a curved library  
Inside, and those high 
Ladders. People take requests.  
It's like the British Museum. 

But one has to build a fire.  
Maybe it was the romance 
Novels he burned. Smoke curls  
Up the gorge. She coughs.

And that's it. The boy swims to shore; 
It's a fishing town in Alaska. 
He finds a telephone booth, 
And calls his father. "Let's talk."