Poem for 21 April 2005: To My Father’s Houses

April 21st, 2005

To My Father’s Houses
W. S. Merwin

Each of you must have looked like hope to him
once at least however long it lasted
he who claimed he saw hope in every grim
eyeless gray farmhouse uninhabited
on a back road and hope surely was needed
every time they were shown into the bare
resonant rooms of the manse provided
by his next church and looked around to where
their lives would wake and they would never own
where they woke and he managed to buy you
never to live in though he thought he might
and projected you onto his days one
by one in the borrowed house they came to
for the last years until the sheet went white

One way to observe National Poetry Month is to keep a poem in your pocket.

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