Louis McKee


The Blackthorn


The blackthorn was his father's,
a piece of Ireland
that the old man could still get his hands around
even as his hands grew weak,
refused to hold. My father
never knew Ireland;
when he gripped the walking stick
it was something else he was holding on to.
I watched my father
get old; he would stare at his hand
and open and close his fist,
try to fight the arthritis.
By then he had lost the stick,
and he could have used it
to work his grip, to beat
at the hard knot that was tying him up.
When he died he was laid in the ground
only a few feet from his father,
while in Ireland the sturdy blackthorns
were defying that sad land
and bursting with white blossoms.


Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: father, sad, work, lost

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Blackthorn by Louis McKee )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Tim Gavin` (11/28/2004 3:49:00 PM)

    'The Blackthorn' is not one of McKee's strongest poems; however, its imagery carries the poem from beginning to end. The image of the hands and the handing down of the walking stick; the handing down of one's roots, Irish roots at that; the handing sown of joy embraced by sorrow but not regret. The sense of loss strikes out as the walking stick is no longer with the family, but the father of the speaker is reunited with his father - back in Ireland - in a grave where 'the sturdy blackthorns/ were defying that sad land/ and bursting with white blossoms.' A sense of joy and beauty of things gained outweighs the regret and remorse of things lost. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. Love After Love, Derek Walcott

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Four Leaf Clover, Eve White
  2. Eric Gone Postal, Eve White
  3. Half-Breed or Racist, Eve White
  4. (Rock ballad) Hold on and letting go, Putri Misnia Shary Bahri (Sh ..
  5. Road Kill, Liilia Talts Morrison
  6. Plum Pudding Much Needed, Vera Sidhwa
  7. The River, bryan wallace
  8. Strides, Vera Sidhwa
  9. The Snowdrop, bryan wallace
  10. Overload, bryan wallace
[Hata Bildir]