""I have long felt that poetry, more than any other form of writing, is the purest way to capture the moments that make up our lives."
- Christopher Lawrence Menard
Christopher Lawrence Menard is an actor, director, photographer, designer and a poet. In this book, he tackles the nature of a relationship with his father, and his son. The poet finds himself in the unique position of being both a son and a father, and these narrative poems revolve around the telling that story.
Reading through countless poetry collections, Christopher Lawrence Menard glimpsed love and loss and travelled the world laid out in the works of artists gifted in the art of painting pictures with their words. Their poetry offered him an understanding of how cities are built, families are grown, losses are lived, memories are captured, and how stories become the threads that weave together a life.
While a trifecta of disease - Parkinson's, Dementia, COPD - wreaks havoc on his father's mind and body, Christopher and his husband find their way with their six—year—old son whom they've known for only two years. In the background of often tumultuous times, Christopher begins exploring the world of fathers and sons by examining the stories of his father's life, his own life, and the life of his young child. It is a period of reflection on the man who shaped him, the man he became, and the boy he is helping to guide.
Christopher uses poetry as his medium, and through the writing begins painting a picture of what it means to be a son, brother, husband, and father. To be gay while growing up in and around the church. To be shaped by relationships, both tender and treacherous, while making his place in the world. To be married and raising a child carried to him through a system built on incredible losses. To be facing the restrictions of a global pandemic that keeps his parents isolated from the world, even as his father begins to succumb to the diseases he's battled for years.
"This book is about family,"" Menard says. ""It's about love and loss. It's about our memories. How they sustain us. How important they are, and what happens to us and the people around us when our memories begin to fade. When we are vulnerable. Who shows up? Who helps us? Who tells our stories after we're gone? Who helps write our stories while we're here? Who protects us? These poems are about family. They're about fatherhood. About love and loss. About endings and beginnings. Legacy. What we build. How we build it. What we leave behind."