Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still Burning...

Dearest Lisa, this post is because you put me in the mood for poetry. "The Portrait," by Stanley Kunitz, has been rolling around in my head for some time now. I can't see to get it out of my mind, particularly the sharp conclusion. The words come to me again and again throughout the day. Good poems never seem to dissipate. They seem to linger infinitely in the subconscious, brought forth by the slightest word or the strangest thought. Odd.

Thus without further ado, "The Portrait," by Stanley Kunitz.
The Portrait
Stanley Kunitz

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.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Wow! What a sad poem!