Monday, January 24, 2011

VISITING HOURS
I wore dark glasses
not because you were dead
but because it hurt to look
into the glazed eyes
of my mother, my sister
waiting around
the visiting table: our
three careful smiles.
Of course this
was not the first breath kept waiting
for handsome you
to walk through the door, or on water.
There must be
in every father
an inheritance of love held
back, or drowned like a kitten.
What you gave I took
greedily with an endless stomach
for stone walls
and dark rooms.
I snatched it like money and tucked it
deep. There must be
in every daughter
a treasure chest guarding her
keep, or a hole overflowing with shit.
I wore dark glasses
because you were sleeping
clean-shaven in the asylum,
kept from the world
like a sharp knife in a drawer
I could take in my hand
and polish calmly for hours to see
me reflected
shining jaggedly.
Finally you came into the room
handsome you
electric with new drugs,
smelling of soap and stiff sheets.
There was a round white table between us, or nothing.

1 comment:

lauryn said...

This poem gives me chills. It's very close to home.