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My father's neck.

Your chest, hospital gown Awry, looks Girlish today, It is your bluish Reptile neck That has known weather. I said to you: "Are You ready to die?" "I am," you said, "It's too boring around Here." He has in mind Some other place less boring. "He's not ready To go," the doctor said. There must have been A fire that nearly Blew out, or a large Soul, inadequately Feathered, that became Cold and angered. Some four-year-old boy In you, chilled by Your mother, misprized By your father, said, "I will defy, I will Win anyway, I Will show them" When Alice's well- Off sister offered To take your two Boys in the Depression, You said it again. Now you speak similar Defiant words to death. This four-year-old- Old man in you does As he likes: he likes To stay alive. Through him you Get revenge, Persist, endure, Overlive, overwhelm, Get on top. You gave me This, and I do Not refuse it. It is In me.
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Author:Bly, Robert
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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