In Which Is He Dark Enough, Enough to See Your Light

 

 

Yesterday

 

My friend says I was not a good son

you understand

I say yes I understand

 

he says I did not go

to see my parents often you know

and I say yes I know

 

even when I was living in the same city he says 

maybe I would go there once

a month or maybe even less

I say oh yes

 

he says the last time I went to see my father

I say the last time I saw my father

 

he says the last time I saw my father

he was asking me about my life

how I was making out and he

went into the next room

to get something to give me

 

oh I say

feeling again the cold

of my father’s hand the last time

 

he says and my father turned

in the doorway and saw me

look at my wristwatch and he

said you know I would like you to stay

and talk with me

 

oh yes I say

 

but if you are busy he said

I don’t want you to feel that you

have to

just because I’m here

 

I say nothing

 

he says my father

said maybe

you have important work you are doing

or maybe you should  be seeing

somebody I don’t want to keep you

I look out the window

my friend is older than I am

he says and I told my father it was so

and I got up and left him then

you know

 

though there was nowhere I had to go

and nothing I had to do

 

— W.S. Merwin, from his 1983 collection Opening the Hand 

 

I’m on a real Merwin kick lately.

W.S. Merwin in conversation with Robert Haas 

6 thoughts on “In Which Is He Dark Enough, Enough to See Your Light

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