English poetry

Poems in English

A Visitor

My father, for example,
Who was young once
And blue-eyed,
On the darkest of nights
To the porch and knocks
Wildly at the door,
And if I answer
I must be prepared
For his waxy face,
For his lower lip
Swollen with bitterness.
And so, for a long time,
I did not answer,
But slept fitfully
Between his hours of rapping.
But finally there came the night
When I rose out of my sheets
And stumbled down the hall.
The door fell open

And I knew I was saved
And could bear him,
Pathetic and hollow,
With even the least of his dreams
Frozen inside him,
And the meanness gone.
And I greeted him and asked him
Into the house,
And lit the lamp,
And looked into his blank eyes
In which at last
I saw what a child must love,
I saw what love might have done
Had we loved in time.

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Poem A Visitor - Mary Oliver