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More poems by Li-Young LeeLi-Young Lee | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Li-Young LeeBooks by Li-Young Lee

Visions And Interpretations

Li-Young Lee

Because this graveyard is a hill, 
I must climb up to see my dead, 
stopping once midway to rest 
beside this tree. 

It was here, between the anticipation 
of exhaustion, and exhaustion, 
between vale and peak, 
my father came down to me 

and we climbed arm in arm to the top. 
He cradled the bouquet I'd brought, 
and 1, a good son, never mentioned his grave, 
erect like a door behind him. 

And it was here, one summer day, I sat down 
to read an old book.  When I looked up 
from the noon-lit page, I saw a vision 
of a world about to come, and a world about to go. 

Truth is, I've not seen my father 
since he died, and, no, the dead 
do not walk arm in arm with me. 

If I carry flowers to them, I do so without their help, 
the blossoms not always bright, torch-like, 
but often heavy as sodden newspaper. 

Truth is, I came here with my son one day, 
and we rested against this tree, 
and I fell asleep, and dreamed 

a dream which, upon my boy waking me, I told. 
Neither of us understood. 
Then we went up. 

Even this is not accurate. 
Let me begin again: 

Between two griefs, a tree. 
Between my hands, white chrysanthemums, yellow 
    chrysanthemums. 

The old book I finished reading 
I've since read again and again. 

And what was far grows near, 
and what is near grows more dear, 

and all of my visions and interpretations 
depend on what I see, 

and between my eyes is always 
the rain, the migrant rain.  

Added: 25 Feb 2002 | Last Read: 17 Nov 2018 2:02 PM | Viewed: 14022 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2817/ | Viewed on 17 November 2018.
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