Little Father

Here is a piece by Li-Young Lee. I have only recently begun exploring his work, but it is phenomenal. If you enjoy this piece, or are moved by this piece, or intrigued, inspired, etc.– want more of this piece, check out more of his work from your local library, or online here. Also, if reading all this poetry encourages you to try your hand at it, pop over to my friend Stephanie’s blog. She’s teaching how to write a different poem every day this month, so you’ll have lots of chances to try different things.

Little Father
by Li-Young Lee

I buried my father
in the sky.
Since then, the birds
clean and comb him every morning
and pull the blanket up to his chin
every night.

I buried my father underground.
Since then, my ladders
only climb down,
and all the earth has become a house
whose rooms are the hours, whose doors
stand open at evening, receiving
guest after guest.
Sometimes I see past them
to the tables spread for a wedding feast.

I buried my father in my heart.
Now he grows in me, my strange son,
my little root who won’t drink milk,
little pale foot sunk in unheard-of night,
little clock spring newly wet
in the fire, little grape, parent to the future
wine, a son the fruit of his own son,
little father I ransom with my life.

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