Friday, September 21, 2018

"Your Frown" by Howard Stein

Your Frown
Howard Stein   

You are dead – how hard it still is to say –
But your frown, your scorn,
"Shadow" Ink on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
Are still alive in me.
I see your angry face
As if you were still
Standing before me.
Though we buried you,
I cannot keep you away –
Nor would I wish to,
For you were gentle, too,
And I would keep you
For a comfort,
But your grimace shows up
Like a ghost, unbidden,
Condemning me to a
Life sentence of your fury.
I wish I could repel you,
But I cannot. I sometimes think
That my dying would end
Your vicious gaze,
But you, no doubt,
Would follow me to hell –
Though, come to think of it,
I can think of no worse
Or more permanent hell
Than your disapproving face
In this life. 

Poet's Notes:  The source of this poem is the experience of being and feeling haunted by the memory--that often feels like a presence--of someone who died. In different ways, it is about my experience of growing up with my father and mother.  They had wildly contrasting moods that appeared, disappeared, reappeared, and changed.

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