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Father Son and Holy Ghost

I have not ever seen my father's grave.

Not that his judgment eyes
have been forgotten
nor his great hands' print
on our evening doorknobs
             one half turn each night
             and he would come
             drabbled with the world's business
             massive and silent
             as the whole day's wish
             ready to redefine
             each of our shapes
but now the evening doorknobs
wait     and do not recognize us
as we pass.

Each week a different woman
regular as his one quick glass
each evening
pulls up the grass his stillness grows
calling it weed.
Each week     a different woman
has my mother's face
and he
who time has     changeless
must be amazed
who knew and loved
but one.

My father died in silence
loving creation
and well-defined response
he lived     still judgments
on familiar things
and died     knowing
a January 15th that year me.

Lest I go into dust
I have not ever seen my father's grave.

Written by Audre Lorde (1934-1992)


Audre Lorde Poets Page