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Father Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 13

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The long lines of diesels

groan toward evening

carrying off the breath

of the living.

The face of your house

is black,

it is your face, black

and fire bombed

in the first street wars,

a black tooth planted in the earth

of Michigan

and bearing nothing,

and the earth is black,

sick on used oils.

Did you look for me in that house

behind the sofa

where I had to be?

in the basement where the shirts

yellowed on hangers?

in the bedroom

where a woman lay her face

on a locked chest?

I waited

at windows the rain streaked

and no one told me.

I found you later

face torn

from The History of Siege,

eyes turned to a public wall

and gone

before I turned back, mouth

in mine and gone.

I found you whole

toward the autumn of my 43rd year

in this chair beside

a masonjar of dried zinnias

and I turned away.

I find you

in these tears, few,

useless and here at last.

Don't come back.


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