English poetry

Poems in English


The Portrait

My mother never forgave my father
For killing himself,
Especially at such an awkward time
And in a public park,
That spring
When I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
In her deepest cabinet
And would not let him out,
Though I could hear him thumping.
When I came down from the attic
With the pastel portrait in my hand
Of a long-lipped stranger
With a brave moustache
And deep brown level eyes,
She ripped it into shreds
Without a single word
And slapped me hard.
In my sixty-fourth year
I can feel my cheek
Still burning.


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Poem The Portrait - Stanley Kunitz