“The Visit”


for Athena, Who Still Has Not Picked Up Her Airline Ticket


I wonder about the lonely ticket,
I wonder if it will go to waste,
I wonder if she’s afraid of flying,
I wonder if she’s reading this
And sighing—

“Oh Dad, stop your fretting,
Do stop worrying me so,
I’ll get there in good measure,
Will arrive at my own pleasure.”

And so I’m reduced to bad poetry,
Reduced to a father’s art:
To love and to let go,
To presume silence does not mean no.


(Prague — September 26, 2001)



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