Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NURSING HOME: THE VISIT, by KAREN SWENSON



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NURSING HOME: THE VISIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The wild-animal fear is upon him
Last Line: His hair through the cage.
Subject(s): Grandchildren; Grandparents; Nursing Homes; Grandsons; Granddaughters; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers; Old Age Homes; Assisted Living


The wild-animal fear is upon him.
Still young enough to smell
death and the cripple,
he does not want to come in
here where she lies in her crib.
But he does - guarded by the lives

of grandmother and mother,
eyes strafing the room for comfort.
Her witch-aged face turns.
The tendon-raw hands reach through the bars.
Time is a membrane between their touch.
"My baby, my baby boy," she says,
pulling him into her parenthesis of steel.
"You must not call him a baby," we reprimand.
His voice is torn linen; "She can call me anything."

Could he be the face?
She laughs at us and kisses
his hair through the cage.





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