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Wisteria Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 17

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The first purple wisteria

I recall from boyhood hung

on a wire outside the windows

of the breakfast room next door

at the home of Steve Pisaris.

I loved his tall, skinny daughter,

or so I thought, and I would wait

beside the back door, prostrate,

begging to be taken in. Perhaps

it was only the flowers of spring

with their sickening perfumes

that had infected me. When Steve

and Sophie and the three children

packed up and made the move west,

I went on spring after spring,

leaden with desire, half-asleep,

praying to die. Now I know

those prayers were answered.

That boy died, the brick houses

deepened and darkened with rain,

age, use, and finally closed

their eyes and dreamed the sleep

of California. I learned this

only today. Wakened early

in an empty house not lately

battered by storms, I looked

for nothing. On the surface

of the rain barrel, the paled,

shredded blossoms floated.


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