Lay Back the Darkness by Edward Hirsch. A favorite of mine.   1 comment

My father in the night shuffling from room to room
on an obscure mission through the hallway.

Help me, spirits, to penetrate his dream
and ease his restless passage.

Lay back the darkness for a salesman
who could charm everything but the shadows,

an immigrant who stands on the threshold
of a vast night

without his walker or his cane
and cannot remember what he meant to say,

though his right arm is raised, as if in prophecy,
while his left shakes uselessly in warning.

My father in the night shuffling from room to room
is no longer a father or a husband or a son,

but a boy standing on the edge of a forest
listening to the distant cry of wolves,

to wild dogs,
to primitive wingbeats shuddering in the treetops.


Posted November 20, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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One response to “Lay Back the Darkness by Edward Hirsch. A favorite of mine.

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  1. Dear Mary Strong Jackson,
    I’m writing to say I love your work posted on Linkedin, but first let me give you a little memory jog, in case you forgot who I am.

    This is Elaine Upton, poet and writer, who used to live in Santa Fe and volunteer with Need and Deed. You and I have met and talked a couple of times briefly, I believe. You came to my reading at the Unitarian Fellowship last April with Martha, and it was wonderful to have you there. I have now moved to Ashland and am in the Ashland Public Library on the computer, and out the window is a wide vista of the foothhills of the Cascade Mountains (Mt. Ashland is on the other side of the library). It is lovely here–and rather quiet and gentle. We were planning ot move to California, but ended up here (we, being my partner and I).

    All that just to give you a bit of background, and to say, I came here to the Library to use the computer and found an email from Linkedin that shows me your work!–How wonderful! I just read this poem by Edward Hirsch about his father and death. Wow! I am very moved!–I also scrolled down and started reading something that I believe you wrote!–I look forward to reading it. My first impression from glancing at it is that it is also a wonderful poem!

    I guess I am on your Linkedin Network. I am sorry that we did not get to work together with Life Link and creative writing in Santa Fe.
    I hope you will send more poems,and I look forward to reading the ones you have up on Linkedin. How rich! You are someone I would like to know!

    I am at
    Elaine Maria Upton, with all good wishes and thanks for your work!


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